Pancake - "Roxy Elephant" (Offers 1975)

The German band Pancake released three albums that are all supposed to be very different from each other. Their debut "Roxy Elephant" was probably the least progressive of them, and reminds me quite a bit of Wishbone Ash. That means melodic and guitar-based hard rock with some minor progressive tendencies. The twin-guitars of Walter Negele and Tommy Metzger sounds a lot like Wishbone Ash, and even the vocals are similar in some places. The most progressive tune on the album is undoubtedly the 13-minute "Aeroplane" that features lots of extended solos and some powerful riffs. "Heartfire" and "Remember" are both melodic and tasteful tunes where their obvious influence from Wishbone Ash especially shines through. Personally I think they could have explored more of the distinctive and atmospheric guitar-tones that open "Heartfire". There are also two short instrumental interludes in form of "Rolltreppe" and "End of the Day" here. "Long Life" and "Harmony" are both straightforward and gritty hard rock tunes, while the title-track is a mediocre jam that isn't exactly helped by the inclusion of a drum solo. "Roxy Elephant" is overall a listenable record with some good playing, although I personally would have bought some of Wishbone Ash' classic albums before this one. Pancake's two last albums are reportedly more progressive and interesting.

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