Here And Now - Give And Take [Esoteric Recordings - 2011]Here and now are a British collective who have been mixing up psychedelic & throbbing synth work, space rock, and punk on & off since the early 1970’s. “Give and Take” is the bands debut album from 1978, and this newly remastered version offers up extra material & an informative booklet about the bands early workings.
The band’s biggest claim to fame was working with Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth of tripped-out progressive/psychedelic rock project Gong. In 1977 Here & Now were recruited as a backing band for the pairs Gong off-shoot project Planet Gong, and in this combination they released a live album “Floating Anarchy 1977” and a single "Opium for the People”. And clearly Gong is a huge influence on “Give and Take” with the Gong like spacey/ psychedelic keyboard dwells, soaring star bound guitar textures & floaty female space whispers that appear on many of the tracks here. But Here & Now are far from a Gong copy band, as the Gong moments are just one facet of their sound- the album also takes in elements of ancho punk, Bowie like rock composition, soaring prog moments, the odd reggae like strut, and a distinctive quirky rough ‘n’ ready British vibe that made the band a big favourite of the festival scene for many years.
The original album featured six tracks, and these tracks lasted between just under the five minute mark to just over the eleven minute mark- this meant that there was a great mixture of more plan song like tracks & more expansive spacey/punky jam like moments. This new reissue adds on three bonus tracks from the bands 1978 ep, which was confusingly named after the band themselves. These three bonus tracks add an extra twenty minutes to the CDs running time, and sonically they sit in the bands more punchy standard song based template instead of their more jam based sonic endeavours. Also the reissue adds in a short, but informative booklet that discussers the bands early work & the “Give & Take” album.
So if your after playfully, punchy and shifting mixture of psychedelic synth scaping, space rock, punk and prog “Give And Take” will be right up your street.Roger Batty