"Once upon a time, there was a garden. The garden bloomed. She stood naked, she stood proud."
The instant you hear the opening lines to HAWK's 1972 opus Africa, She Too Can Cry, you know this is not going to be another rock 'n roll listening experience. Johannesburg's most notable heavy rock export of the '70s manage to wrap the previous decade's hippie/protest rock up in a bundle with no limits operatic assemblages and gratuitous cultural appropriation to create a stunning record...even if it enjoying requires a touch more latitude than I typically grant myself. Musically...what about FLOWER TRAVELLIN' BAND tempered with THREE DOG NIGHT? Does that raise your eyebrow? "Rolling Of The Bones" and "The Elephant Must Die" are solid floor jammers, and the bloke who put this cassette together was nice enough to throw a few non-LP cuts from era appropriate 45s at the end of the album, including the aquarian "In My Youth" and their biggest commercial hit "Orang Otang" (thinking of this song having anything approaching commercial success is really bizarre to my 2021 ears). Something about a bunch of white dudes in 1972 South Africa singing about the power, beauty and conflict of a continent colonized and enslaved by...well, a bunch of white dudes...it tastes a little off. But hell, I wasn't there, and maybe they were on the right side of the fight.
Also, getting this in a package of over the top noise and harsh power electronics tapes was a real treat, so there's that. Try rolling from the EMASCULATE REGRESSION tape right into "The Return."
It's a trip...