Subliminal Sound

Trad Gras Och Stenar – Gardet 12.6.1970 (Subliminal Sound)

When this essential set was issued on CD about a decade ago many heads were blown apart by the swirling ultra minimal psych focus these three Swedes possessed. When they went in, they went all the way in. There’s no better demonstration than on this live document from one of the country’s first public, local psychedelic festivals. Fans and latecomers finally get the deluxe vinyl issue from the Subliminal Sounds label who executed this release to perfection across the board, including a sidelong, unreleased trance/vocal improvisation that equals the previously released beloved material.  Along with Parson Sound and International Harvester, Trad Gras Och Stenar formed the vanguard of late 60s progressive guitar music for the region. All with a similar but unique take on the exploratory rock/folk/free axis that Europe was grappling with in a post Hendrix world of political upheaval when rock music was considered a cultural threat. TGOS were the most forthright rock-ist of the three bands, as evidenced from their choice of covers, “All Along the Watchtower” and the devastatingly intense take on “Satisfaction”, both presented here in squalled out, slo-mo hazes of extended wah guitar abandon. But it’s the bands own material that shines the heaviest. The longer the band freaks-out, the better the results. When TGOS extend past the double digit minute mark, every moment feels exciting. In no rush, the band explores the riff to near-infinity.  Take the unreleased last side, “Lat oss tanka ett par dagar” which hypnotizes deeply with rises and falls, from slight examinations to roaring, chanting, sweat-lodge insanity. All wrapped up with photos of anxious local police, flyer artwork, and notes in a gorgeous gatefold with multi-color swirled acid wax to boot. As satisfying as it gets.

by Swingset Magazine on 9/28/2011 in Reviews | Tags: , , , , ,