Inside Experience - "Tales of Brave Ulysses"
In the continuing effort to drown out the window AC unit, the Brown Acid compilations of proto-stoner metal from the late sixties and early seventies have been employed. The music is more amateurish and stumbling than the likes of Frijid Pink and Blue Cheer, as the Nuggets-era bands started embracing harsher drugs, became slower and heavier, headed for burnout, and brought about the comedown referenced in the series’ title.
This cover of the Cream song by Eric Clapton and Martin Sharp starts out as a bummer, then stumbles into a higher gear. There’s no sign of Clapton’s wah-wah guitar, kinda like how when The Litter covered The Yardbirds’ version of “I’m a Man” they neglected to attempt the Jeff-Beck-treats-his-guitar-as-a-percussion-instrument thing. But the cool (yes, cool) touch these slouches pulled off was the sudden laughing and cackling kicking in at the end. The Sirens, of course. The tune sounds like it was recorded in the dankest of basements (hence the band name) and we the listeners are up on the porch drinking lukewarm Miller High Lifes. (If this had been recorded in the nineties, some joker would have told you that you were listening to “lo-fi.”)
And after buying Cream’s Disraeli Gears forty years ago in the used racks at Mother’s Records, a kicking-myself realization: While this tune is about Ulysses from Roman mythology, a later verse doesn’t namecheck Venus and instead uses Aphrodite from Greek mythology. Hey Clapton: Shoulda brushed up on your Edith Hamilton!