Sjef Oellers 7-April-2001 overview

Their first self-titled LP is a diverse album that mostly reminds me of early Traffic, but elements of Jimi Hendrix and the American Westcoast psychedelia are present as well. A track like "Wutu Banale" already hints at the more fusion influenced sound heard on their later albums. Most remarkable here is the good guitar playing by Jukka Tolonen, and there are also several nice sax and flute solos as well. A solid debut. [There is also a second self-titled album only released in Sweden, which has overlapping re-recorded tracks and several new tracks as well, but I have not heard it myself].

On Lambertland they moved more into progressive fusion realms, sounding like a cross between mid period Traffic and instrumental Zappa/Canterbury jazz rock. There are occasionally more quiet passages that sound more folky/medieval, recalling both Gryphon and Jethro Tull.

The next album, Milky Way Moses, is basically a continuation of the style on Lambertland: Rather sophisticated Canterburian jazz rock is combined with spacey sections (almost like Gong on "Caught From The Air"), fairly straight rock ("Confusing The Issue"), and more acoustic/quiet sections ("Piece Of Mind"). The only thing that gets on my nerves on both Lambertland and Milky Way Moses are the mediocre vocals. Unfortunately vocals are present more often than they should be. I would probably have enjoyed their music even more if they had searched for a better singer or reduced the vocal sections substantially. Nevertheless, Milky Way Moses again features several great guitar/flute dialogues, spacey keyboard playing, and pleasantly meandering saxophone solos. All the Tasavallan Presidenti albums are well worth hearing with some excellent instrumental sections, but for me Lambertland and Milky Way Moses are a bit spoiled by the weak vocals.

Links for further information