This quartet of Japanese expats released their sole album on Capitol in 1972. It?s a heady amalgamation of Western and traditional Japanese instruments, such as the koto, shakuhachi, biwa, and taisho-goto. East was led by the songwriting of guitarist Ruese Seto, who sings all the tracks (save the traditional Japanese closer, ?Shin-Sorllan?) in English, and the band may have been one of the main inspirations for, and will certainly appeal to fans of current Japanese psychsters, Ghost. Following the swelling, nationalistic opener, ?Beautiful Morning? and the emotional plea for recognition and accepatance, ?Me,? the band injects a sense of humor and an excellent grasp of the country rock Americana of The Band on the galloping ?Geese On The Road.? I sure would have loved to have heard Levon Helm take a crack at this one!
Returning to pronouns for song title inspiration, multi-instrumentalist, Tadahide Yoshikawa?s ?She? is a gorgeous, mellow, rainy day reflection that, at anout 80 seconds, is at least two minutes too short, but what is here is quite lovely and reminiscent of the best of early Crosby, Stills & Nash, a la ?Guinivere.? The liner notes state that drummer (and pianist!), Fumio Adachi got interested in music after hearing the Kingston Trio?s rendition of ?Tom Dooley,? and the Trio?s influence is well represented by the rollicking singalong folk tale of ?Lumberer Moses? and the jaunty side two opener, ?Black Hearted Woman,? which culminates in a garagey storm of blazing guitars. The band leave their cultural origins behind to the point where, if I hadn?t told you, you?d never believe you were listening to a Japanese band!
The band?s psychedelic side shines through on the curiously titled, ?Deaf Eyed Julie,? which comes complete with an imploring, emotionally gut-wrenching vocal from Seto that rivals the more extravagent efforts of Scott Walker. ?Call Back The Wind? is another introspective ballad with haunting shakuhachi and piano backing supporting Set?s hesitant, whispered vocals, ultimately settling in like one of the mellower tracks on the early Country Joe & The Fish albums. The band leave the more traditional Japanese tracks for the end of the album, including ?Everywhere? (performed almost exclusively on Japanese instruments in the highly theatrical style reminiscent of the soundtrack to a Kabuki play) and the feroscious strumming and yelping on the flamboyant arrangement of the tracditional Japanese closer, ?Shin-Sorllan,? the only track sung in their native tongue. Overall, a wonderful collection of folk, pop, and whistful ballads for those contemplative, Zen moments in your life. 8/10 -- Jeff Penczak (19 September, 2007)