Obscured By Clouds - Bleed - 1999


The name doesn't deceive. Obscured by Clouds is an American band that mainly covers material from the first Pink Floyd. In "Bleed" they present only 6 versions of songs by Waters and Co. plus four other tracks. This trio is formed by William Weikart (vocals and guitars), Ray Woods (Mellotron and keyboards), and Roger Feibel (percussion).


To begin, let’s talk of Pink Floyd's cover tracks: First, we have "Fearless" (3:04), a song that you might know due to the infamous version made by Fish on "Songs from the mirror". Well, O.B.C. present a correct version based on acoustic guitars and light bongos that, personally, I find much more honest than Scottish giant’s version. Not of less interest there is "Pigs in the wind" (2:37), treated the same way, with some acoustic parts and more lively guitars than on the original version. The oppressive "Cirrus minor" (3:57) is completed with some curious keyboard backgrounds that, along with the acoustic guitar, create a very good ambiance."Breathe" (3:15) is one of the most original parts in this CD, give that the band contributes to this track with some very interesting keyboard arrangements and the singer doesn't do it bad at all. The best cover version is, without a doubt, "Julia Dream" (3:54); to the writer’s opinion, this is simply one of the most beautiful and beautifully one of the most simple songs that have ever been written. That’s why, making a cover version of this song and maintaining its spirit is a risky business. The Americans do it really well, recreating that tension between melancholy and surrealism of the original version. To conclude we have "Cymbaline" (3:34), in which William tries to make his best with his voice, resulting an acceptable version.

As for the rest of the songs, we have "Crystal Ship" (2:23), a version of the (for me) unbearable Doors that they do quite nicely (is it due to the percussion?); "That´s the way" (4:40), an acoustic track with a certain "jive" that is not bad at all; and a couple of versions of the song that gives title to this album. The short version of "Bleed" (6:20) is a very pastoral Floydian track (Barrett period, of course) with some rhythm changes and more presence of keyboards than in the whole rest of the CD. The longer version lasts a couple of minutes more and it is much more complete that the previous one. It seems that O.B.C. –despite not being big composers - could now be able to face the recording of a correct first CD with some compositions of their own.


Knowing that "Bleed" was recorded during only one day, I think that I should not be too strict with the critics. "Bleed" is a sincere and curious disc carried out by three normal musicians who will satisfy the fans of the first Pink Floyd and collectors of the style that don't want to ask for much. Certainly, I find it much more honest than the famous tribute called "The Moon Revisited".

author - date - rating - label

Alfonso Algora - July 2000 -   - Rainforest Records