Eela Craig - One Niter [Esoteric Recordings - 2014]The rather strangley monikered Eela Craig were a eight piece Austrian progressive rock band, who existed between 1971 & 1988. The projects sound was a fairly varied, shifting & synth/organ heavy mixture of prog, symphonic Rock, fusion, and dips into all out funk. One Niter is the bands second album from 1976-this is a 2010 reissue of the album, that has just been recently repressed on Esoteric Recordings (the prog/ 70-80’s electronica sub-label of Cherry Red Records).
The album features just five tracks- which take in two lengthy song suites in the form of tracks one & three( in the form of "Circles" & "One Niter Medley"), and three slightly shorter tracks in the form of tracks two, four, five("Loner's Rhyme", "Venezuela", "Way Down"). As mentioned in the introduction paragraph the band have a rather genre shifting sound- so one moment you’ll be listening to a dramatic & moody Pink Floyd like blues tinged prog run, the next you’ll be knee deep in down ‘n’ dirty funk that’s weaved by both spaced-out synth swoops & jazzy organ runs. Or you’ll find your self in more mellow Yes like prog drifts with John Anderson-eque soaring vocals & harmonised backing, then next you'll be chilled-out & swooned by a mixture of matinee focused easy listening/ classic tinged symphonic Rock, or the band will easy down into a mellow flute & slightly jazz tinged early King Crimson moments- really the whole album thing nicely twist & turns along it's way, and even after a few plays through you’ll still surprised by were the tracks go next.
Though the album is broken-up into five tracks, really the whole thing feels like one long trip or journey, as the lengthy tracks are quite episodic & shifting in their unfold, and themes/ structures seem to reappear over the whole album, and not just in one set track….so it really all flows together, yet that said it always remains relatively focused & never too over indulgent or nodding.
This reissue comes with a eight page colourful inlay booklet, that takes in a three page write-up about the One Niter album, it’s time of release, and the band. Also we get a few pictures of the band, as well as the albums full lyrics.
In summing up this release I’d say on the whole it’s a great and very welcome reissue of this rather obscure yet rewarding & genre shifting bit of Prog rock history. So all in all this is another very worthy release from the excellent Esoteric Recordings label.Roger Batty