ST 37 - The Insect Hospital - 2004


My god. Maybe I´m in a mess or maybe I´m not made for this eighty minutes long discharge of unhinged kraut rock and psychedelia.

ST37 is the typical underground band with a long discography, lots of collaborations, etc, and it´s formed by the following lunatics: Dave Cameron (drums, percussion), Joel Crutcher (guitars, lap steel, effects), Carlton Crutcher (Roland, vocals, chat), Mark Stone (guitars, effects, backing vocals, chat), and SL Telles (bass, vocals, keyboards, tapes, ”chat).

This artifact is dedicated to Roky Erickson (guitarist of 13th Floor Elevators), and it´s an homage to two sci-fi movies: “Solaris” and “Metropolis”.


This album can lose Dalai Lama´s concentration. Here you´ll find thirteen minutes of space-trip in “Solaris”, with all kind of strange and bizarre sounds a la Amon Düül or Hawkwind, but you´ll also find a noisy cover of “Land of Treason” (originally released by the punk band The Germs) or a conversation in “The Portable Insect Hospital”.

Things become “calmer” with “Cold Night for Alligators” – Erickson´s cover -, the brutal garage psych “Model Had”, and the cover of “Seven Deadly Finns”, originally released by the overvalued Brian Eno. But none of these three tracks can wake us from this sonic nightmare.

The best, well… I´d say the most homogeneous, part of the album is the one dedicated to the film “Metropolis”. This suite consists of “Intro/Main Title/The Pleasure Garden” (18:56), “Yoshiwara´s/The Workers Revolt” (15:52) and “Burn the Witch/Love Theme (finale)” (9:52). These forty minutes are a Molotov cocktail with spacey psychedelia, dirty guitars, pissed off Californian spirit, The Doors very angry, Spirit (the band), kraut nihilism, etc, etc.


I know there are people who consider ST37 as the real carriers of true progressive rock. Well, maybe I´ve missed something or maybe my taste for psych music has very strong limits.

I don´t know.. listen to it and let me know. I´m going for an aspirin.

author - date - rating - label

Alfonso Algora - August 2004 -   - Black Widow