Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., July 25, 2008
Copping their handle from the humanoid alien protagonist in 1951's The Day the Earth Stood Still (a Keanu Reeves remake is due this December), Toronto sci-fi prog rock outfit Klaatu had a brief brush with stateside fame in 1977, after a journalist insinuated they were the Beatles in disguise. Klaatu refused to perform live or reveal their identities, which only fanned the rumor. Oddly enough, "Sub Rosa Subway" is the only cut on their 1976 debut that sounds like the Beatles, or more accurately, a Wings outtake. "Subway" lionizes inventor Alfred Beach and his attempt to build a pneumatic railroad beneath Broadway. The debut's "Kumbaya"-styled centerpiece is "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft," which unabashedly appends itself with the honorific "The Recognized Anthem of World Contact Day." The Carpenters later covered it in an ill-advised stab at relevance. Maybe Karen and Richard should've rendered a spaceship tape-deck rocker like "Anus of Uranus" instead.