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Old 03-02-2009, 02:48 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Haven't seen Comus in nearly a week and a half now, but I assume he'll return in a triumphant fashion at some point soon.

Definitely getting Luv Machine btw, and I enjoyed the review.

Today's review, coincidentally, is a very obscure psychedelic album of the highest calibur:

Algarnas Tradgard - Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden (1972)


Track Listing

1. Two Hours Over Two Blue Mountains With a Cuckoo On Each Side Of The Hours….That Is (13:25)
2. There Is A Time For Everything, There Is A Time When Even Time Will Meet (6:11)
3. Children of Possibilities (3:12)
4. La Rotta (1:40)
5. Viriditas (3:00)
6. Rings of Saturn (7:15)
7. The Future Is A Hovering Ship, Achored In The Past (5:07)
8. 5/4 (10:26)
9. The Mirrors of Gabriel (8:26)

Garden of the Elks, which is the English translation of the name Algarnas Tradgard, is not your grandad's psychedelic rock band. In fact, as their moniker might give you an indication of, this one-shot album band is, to me, a living example of just how grand it is when you DO manage to find something a bit offbeat that doesn't sound singular and unique for the sake of it. Or, to put this in a different way, how many groups at that point in time would have thought to fuse Psychedelic Rock, Space Rock, Krautrock and Nordic folk music into a single, cohesive sound that doesn't rely on bass to send your mind to the skies?

Not many I'd say, which is why Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden (English translation: The Future Is A Hovering Ship, Achored In The Past) is simply so interesting when you actually sit down and listen through it the first time. You are struck that it doesn't strive to be different, it simply IS by the combination of the styles involved, and that's a rare quality indeed considering how easy it is, for the most part, to figure out which X band influenced Y band's sound in today's music world.

Not that I can't give you guys a few comparison bands to Algarnas Tradgard, because there are a few. The dread-folk atmosphere that pervades this album feel like a cousin to parts of Comus's First Utterance in some ways, while the lighter passages are sibling to Jan Dukes de Grey or Pentagle without sounding like either of those bands.

However, perhaps the best thing about this record is that certain aspects of their sound are emphasized on different tracks to various degrees, hence appealing to a variety of audiences without losing the core sound or style. Rings of Saturn, for instance, is driven entirelly by some serious psychedelic guitar grooving, while There Is A Time For Everything, There Is A Time When Even Time Will Meet has lots of sitar, Nordic flutes and enough spaceyness to make even Hawkwind fans cream their jeans. The female vocals, while sung in Swedish, are rather nice and don't distract from the mind-expansive sound at all.

So in conclusion...Honestly, this is an outstanding effort. Their sound is unique and stands alone for the most part, which is always a plus for obscure albums. For you fans of the psychedelic, the depths of space, or even folk music...this could very well be your Holy Grail of the month. No joke.

Album Verdict: 6.5/7

Also, here's an excerpt from Track #2 of the album for your listening pleasures. Enjoy!

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Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.

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Old 03-03-2009, 06:33 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Because I'm in the arctic at the moment and don't have much time/chance to listen to music, I've been purposely avoiding your thread for a while, thinking I would check up on the your new stuff when I got back to my apartment on the mainland.

However, I'm just wondering .. what's up with all the swedish stuff? Pain of Salvation, Älgarnas Trädgård, Moon Safari, some of the members of The Tangent .. Is it coincidence or have you been getting into swedish bands on purpose?

Looking forward to listen to the elkboys when I get back!
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:07 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Hey guess what!
I'm a hipster and I love the thread!
I got Lucifer's Friend and it's great and I guess I have to catch up with the rest.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:32 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Sweden have been at the forefront of progressive rock output for a long while now, though like most things the assertion is debateable.

jacklovezhimself: Hipster or not, welcome to the Anthill. Enjoy Lucifer's Friend and check out whatever else you find interesting!

Today's obscure album may not be prog., but its an unusual beast to be sure...with extra funk included.


David "Fuze" Fiuczynski - Black Cherry Acid Lab (2002)



Track Listing

1. Step on My Shoes A (2:03)
2. Lessurgy (2:09)
3. Radio Is the Enemy (2:48)
4. Bollocks (3:59)
5. Bad Boy (3:26)
6. Shafta (3:25)
7. Scrapecheese (3:37)
8. Golden Rule (6:27)
9. Step on My Shoes B (2:12)

For anyone who remembers (or has ever read) my old Screaming Headless Torsos review, I raved a bit on how David Fiuczynski, known in musical circles by the moniker "Fuze", can play guitar like a mother****er. His style, to put it generically, is very distinctive regardless of the project he plays on; haphazard and textural, yet at the same time he has the capability to shred with the best of 'em on a whim. You never really know where he'll take his sound from one second to the next, and as a result Fuze possesses an unusual charisma in a time when technical proficiency seems to have devoured the original goal of many great guitarists: to be unique.

But enough about him and more about the record in question that he's involved with. This particular project, the album Black Cherry Acid Lab, makes full use of Fiuczynski's unique style, along with his good friend Dean Bowman (Screaming Headless Torsos's vocalist) and hence results in lots of punk-jazz antics crammed with funk and rythm up the wazoo. But guess what? It also has a certain infamous voice-actor providing his talents as a rapper to go with an already lethal musical duo, a man by the name of Ahmed Best.

But who is Ahmed Best you peeps may ask? The pic. below should explain everything:



Yes, its the truth. We have Jar Jar Binks rapping like a crazy mofo' here on Black Cherry Acid Lab. And BOYYYYY is he on the game here, adding an unusual element to an already unpredictable funk album with some interesting results. His performance here, in fact, makes this one of the most diverse and interesting albums to come out at ANY point in time, much less the 21st century. Rap+funk+punk+jazz+hard rock has never sounded so fun!!

Describing the tracks one by one is no easy task, partly because the songs themselves sometimes change randomly, veering off in odd designs that somehow seem crazy, yet held together by Fuze's playing like some variant of sonic superglue that prevents the building's foundations from caving in. Another plus, the instrumentation, is intracite to say the least; simply put, its heavily bass, guitar and sax driven with heavy drumming and the occasional turntable for good measure. Very danceable material in some ways, which is always nice once in a while.

So, for those who love jazz and fusion, this album will please you. To those who love their jazz fusion with rap and a sense of humour, you'll love it even more. And to the folks who take in avant-garde like gatorade at football practice, you'll probably enjoy this album most of all because its both inviting and challenging to the mind and ear the way a great album needs to be.

I suppose if Mr. Bungle had been just a mite jazzier and were still around today, this is how it would have been. Three thumbs way way way up for this classic in the making!!

Album Verdict: 5.2/7
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Quote:
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You can't blame the Jews for everything...just most things.
Quote:
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Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.

Last edited by Anteater; 03-10-2009 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:34 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Got an up for this at all? I like the sound of it!
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:55 PM   #46 (permalink)
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You should definitely give Algarnas Tradgard a listen Jack although I find that their release drags on a bit at times, but that shouldn't deter anyone . It does feel kind of weird at first, but it's definitely a grower. Great review too, although I tend to find that generally, you're a bit lenient when it comes to album ratings.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:18 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Meh; all that means is I have to revamp my grading scale some, which I'll go ahead and try out on this upcoming review.

1: Excrement
2: Trash, but there is the potential of promise in an area or two.
3: Average
4: One or two great tracks, but otherwise unexceptional.
5: Very good. Anything at this grade or higher is worthy of recommendation.
6: Classic status/exceptional. Not quite flawless, but milestones nevertheless.
7: Perfection. Transcends the genre to become something of potential universal meaning.

I'll be re-evaluating all my past reviews with this scale, and will also be posting this back on my first post.

Anyway....all that aside, I've got an album today that gives Leaf Hound's Growers of Mushroom a run for its money. Sorry Comus!! xD

T2 - It'll All Work Out In Boomland (1970)



Track Listing

1. In Circles (8:34)
2. J.L.T. (5:44)
3. No More White Horses (8:35)
4. Morning (21:14)
5. Questions And Answers (5:17)
6. CD (7:01)

T2 was a hard-rock band trio with a remarkable, if rather brief, resume to go with before the recording of their one and only record It'll All Work Out In Boomland back in 1970. Keith Cross, only 17 years old and fresh out of playing at the Isle of Wight Festival with Hendrix himself, had proven that despite his young age that he was a cunning wizard with the guitar, and together with bandmates vocalist Peter Dunton and bassist Bernard Jinks managed to land a recording session with the influential Decca Records (who, interestingly enough, own the recording studios where Wishbone Ash did most of their studio work).

The result of Keith Cross's efforts, an almagation of Cream, Hendrix and the sort of looseness you'd expect from some jazz outfit of the era, is an album that rings powerful and full of weight while still being remarkable in it's seamless ability to shift tone on a dime into acoustic psychedelia. Each track turns in on themselves a number of times, possessing the rare quality of smooth transition from one movement to the next. Take the 21 minute side-long 'Morning' for instance; it rises from an acousting dream over the first few minutes, gradually picking up the pace as the guitar's wailing shreds nicely, slows, shreds. But then, suddenly around the 10 minute mark, the drums and guitar have switched roles, with fantastic rythyms a'la Santana at the forefront of your mind while the guitar and bass morph spacily in the background. It's awesome!

An album like Boomland is interesting for several reasons. It approaches things more experimentally at times than the usual hard rock album of the late 60's, but never forgets its roots while pursuing these tendencies. It remains fun, heavy and head-banging even with longer than 4-minute songs and a 21-minute suite. T2 were a band, that even if it was only for one album, knew exactly what they were doing and what they wanted to do; they wanted to take the kind of rock n' roll Cream, Hendrix and the rest had pioneered and make it a bit more interesting.

Whether or not they succeeded, Keith Cross and company, is up to those who hear this album to decide. Could this have been among the most promising debuts of all time or a one-hit wonder that deserves it status in obscurity?

Either way, the awesomeness of Boomland is indisputable in my book, and hence I recommend it to lovers of all that is hard and rock in the years when it was done best. Thumbs up!

On a final note, here is Circles, the first track, for the curious on YouTube. Enjoy!



Album Verdict: 5.9/7
__________________
My Top 30 Albums of 2018
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
You can't blame the Jews for everything...just most things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OccultHawk
Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.

Last edited by Anteater; 03-10-2009 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:21 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Okkkay then...here's another review for the hell of it.

The Vampires of Dartmoore - Dracula's Music Cabinet (1969)


Track Listing

1. The Torture Chamber Of Dr. Sex (2:04)
2. Crime And Horror (2:48)
3. The Fire-Dragon Of Hongkong (2:38)
4. Murder In The Ohio Express (2:34)
5. Dance Of The Vampires (2:34)
6. Hallo, Mister Hitchc*ck (2:06)
7. The Executioner Of Dartmoore (2:29)
8. Killer's End (2:17)
9. The Soaked Body (2:38)
10. A Handful Of Nitro (2:08)
11. Dr. Caligaris Creeps-Cabinet (2:54)
12. Frankenstein Greets Alpha 7 (2:25)

Of the various obscure bands in my collection, stuff like this ranks among the weirdest for sure. The Vampires of Dartmoore were a short-lived psychedelic, garage-Krautrock outfit who put forth this single release before vanishing off the face of the planet soon after (1969 must not have been that great year for German rock bands = /). Unfortunately, I can't tell any of you much about the band itself: there's like, no information ANYWHERE about the members on the web, which makes this album's existence even more mysterious/dubious than normal. I mean sure, there were as many one shot bands back in those days as there were stars in the sky, but with a group like this, it just seems really odd that there's no background info...

*cough*. Anyway... as the title suggests, Dracula's Music Cabinet is something like a soundtrack to a kind of low-budget 1960's horror movie, featuring screams, evil cackling, sounds of torture and moans amidst the bass, guitar, sax, freaky sounds, industrial drumming and moody Hammond organ which all mix freely into something that sounds...novel to say the least, even 40 years after its creation. Dogs barking, the laughter of a mad scientist, the looming of an old house against the terror that a full moon brings...it all just visualizes so easily as you are drawn into record's groove, and I generally have difficulty visualizing any kind of scene when I listen to music of any sort.

Basically, the whole experience of going through this album is so strange, sleazy and different from the usual fare (and this is coming from a love of avant-garde here), that I can only consider it a masterpiece. Its left that strong an impression on me within a year.

So on a final note, I'll personally PM Dracula's Music Cabinet to anyone who is interested/brave enough to give it a try. Love it, hate it, care less for it...I can say with certainty that once your ears get a taste of it, you won't forget it. Ever.

Album Verdict: 7/7

Oh yah, here's a video some fan made with the track "Dance of the Vampires" as the background music.
Send this my way, im intrigued
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:03 PM   #49 (permalink)
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It's certainly nice to see so many people interested in Drac. Music Cabinet. Incredibly inaccessible even to more adventurous listeners, but thats part of the charm I guess.

Today's review deals with more of an underrated than obscure work. Still proggy though-


Yes - Going For The One (1977)



Track Listing

1. Going For The One (5:30)
2. Turn Of The Century (8:58)
3. Parallels (6:52)
4. Wonderous Stories (3:45)
5. Awaken (15:38)

Pretty strange really, the scarcity of Yes album reviews on MusicBanter. Is it because they're universally accepted as awesome by everyone, or is it simply due to a lack of interest on the part of the users?

In any case, this is one group who is undeniably responsible for some major masterpieces of the 70's, stuff that even now is nearly impeccable even to those who look down on prog. rock. The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge and Relayer are all known and loved with great fervor among fans and enjoyed by everyone else to at-least some degree.

But even after all of those works came and went, Yes had still one true innovative classic left in 'em as that decade came to a close. Strangely forgotten in light of most of their other albums, Going For The One has everything a Yes fan could want; intricate almost jazz-fusion level interplay between Howe's guitar and Wakeman's keyboard antics, killer bass from Chris Squire, the soaring intensity of Jon Anderson's vocals, and some real trippy lyrics that border closely to the surreal rather than the nonsensical. Hell, we even have the +15 minute long 'Awaken', a track that Anderson himself even today to be the band's best and most complete song ever recorded. The only thing missing was Bill Brufod and an album cover by Roger Dean.

The title tracks starts us off with an almost country-like riff from old school RnR, setting Anderson off nicely as the keyboards peek out from below the bass. Turn of the Century features nice acoustic work from Howe, Parallels begns with an organ and carries a heartbeat all the way up to Wonderous Stories, which has Anderson singing angelically in a manner reminicent on King Crimson's Lizard. This of course eventually fades into Awaken, which pulls together everything Yes had ever been or could have been in a breathtaking farawell to the decade befitting of their talents. The beginning and ending sections respectively are incredible if you have a decent surround sound system or speakers that aren't ****.

Really, unless you are into the rather obnoxious sort of pomp and studio-wizardry which would take hold of Yes's sound in the 80's through today, Going For The One should be considered the the last album any self-respecting fan should have in their collection alongside Close to the Edge, Fragile and the rest of their 70's output. Awaken may be the must-have/listen song from this work, but the album on the whole definitely has enough strong moments besides that one track to elevate it alongside their other records.

Hence, this is a worthy grab for a fan of the band while at the same time being accessible for new listeners. It may not reach the heights of Close to the Edge, but then again what does?

Album Verdict: 6.3/7

Here's the first half of Awaken being performed live. It's very awesome!
__________________
My Top 30 Albums of 2018
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
You can't blame the Jews for everything...just most things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OccultHawk
Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.

Last edited by Anteater; 03-22-2009 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:02 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Another good review!

And a particularly interesting one. So far I've heard The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge. I'm pretty much blown away and Yes has quickly become my new favourite prog-band. Judging from your review, I'm gonna love this one as well.
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