Welcome to the wacky world of LOTHAR AND THE HAND PEOPLE*, psychedelic pioneers of analog synth in rock music. These guys are widely accredited as the first rock and roll band to incorporate Moog synthesizers and theremin into their recordings and tours, but their appeal extends far beyond mere novelty. Sure, they often succumbed to the corny, Dead-esque trappings of sloppy, late 60's hippie rock, but Lothar and Co. brought some truly cosmic sonic experimentations to the masses, sometimes sounding like a deconstructed Captain Beefheart ("Sex and Violence") or even a proto-Devo ("Machines"). Their wide-eyed enthusiasm for free love can be a bit dated and annoying, but for every "standard" hippie track ("Let The Boy Pretend", "Yes I Love You"), LATHP follow up with a spaced-out, cartoony excursion into Moog-land ("Today Is Only Yesterday's Tomorrow", "Space Hymn"). Depending on how much Haight-Ashbury cheez you can handle, Lothar can be a challenging listen, but if you stick with 'em, oh so many magical, mind-blowing, bleep-bloop treasures will be revealed. I recommend beginning with their debut album, Presenting... (which is a bit more on the "experimental" side) before moving on to their second release, Space Hymn.
One more thing: You're probably wondering which one is "Lothar". The answer: None of them. Lothar was the THEREMIN who fronted the band. Duh.
Worth the download solely on the strength of "Machines"
SPACE HYMN (1969)
Purchase a 2-CD set containing BOTH albums HERE
An excerpt from the epic title track:
*Not to be confused with Lothar of the Hill People