Tom Hayes 30-March-2001 overview

Flasket Brinner at a Glance

Sweden at the beginning of the 1970's, like Germany close by, had an exciting music scene where American and British trends were being ignored. Here the bands were not shackled by commercialism and could pursue the freedom to explore all sorts of combinations of styles. In this environment, bands such as Algarnas Tradgard, Samla Mammas Manna, Kebnekaise and International Harvester produced a very exciting rock culture filled with creative ideas. All appeared on the Silence label, the Swedish equivalent of Germany's Ohr label. Flasket Brinner (The Flesh is Burning) were but one of these great bands.

On their self-titled debut, Flasket Brinner pursued the instrumental free-form jam mixed with the odd progressive composition in a live setting. The style is very much inspired by the free jazz scene that flourished in late 1960s Europe. However here, the instrumentation was more rock based with organ, guitar, bass, drums, flute and sax. The playing is extremely energetic which, if not careful, will catch the listener in a bit of head-banging (Metallica style). And, best of all, the melodies were based on traditional Swedish themes making a wonderful concoction of rock, free jazz, psychedelic and folk. A brilliant album overall and a must for fans of Euro psychedelic fusion.

The follow-up, Flasket, is quite a bit different. Now signed to a subsidiary of major label Polydor, this double LP defines the "kitchen sink" mindset so prevalent in those days. Unsure what kind of album they should do, Flasket Brinner throw out a whirlwind of ideas. LP #1 contains some very nice jazz/horn rock with a slight Canterbury touch, violin chamber music, drum solos, children's choirs and a stinker pop blues track. LP #2 is a live album and, thus, more similar to the debut. The jazz elements are not as prevalent here but the compositions and jamming are top notch on the first side. Unfortunately, on the flip side, they digress into an awful version of "Wild Thing" and the final jam is fairly trite. So, overall the album contains many brilliant moments but there is some baggage to wade through as well.

Unfortunately neither album has made it onto CD and are available only as original LP's.

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