Svanfridur - What’s Hidden There? (Mega Blowout Sale)

SKU 23-HBG 123-8
“This Icelandic boogie band never had much success outside their homeland, but that doesn't diminish their achievement. Opening track "The Woman of Our Day" is a slippery blues-rock track that recalls early Blue Öyster Cult (think "Before the Kiss, A Redcap" or "Stairway to the Stars") with clean, non-accented English-language vocals. The second track, "The Mug," is a progressive rock exploration reminiscent of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis (albeit slightly less musically complex), dominated by acoustic instruments like piano, acoustic guitar, and gentle, jazzy drums. The rhythm section is remarkably supple throughout, making the music swing as much as it rocks, and the vocalist sounds like a cross between Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson and Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. On the next song, "Please Bend," they undergo yet another metamorphosis, pairing fuzz guitar with sawing violin for a hillbilly blues-rock stomp. By the fourth track, which imitates a Jethro Tull ballad flute and all, the relentless shifting begins to grow slightly tiresome. The album's second half settles into a more conventional proggy, hard rock groove, with plenty of distorted guitar solos and a piano-led rhythm section, allowing the listener to finally get a sense of what the band was really about, rather than who they were influenced by. Overall, What's Hidden There? is a very good record by a band that seems to have found its path halfway through the sessions.”-AllMusic

“Swirling around as a rare Psych/Prog release, this is actually a Hippy/Psychedelic Rock album sung in English with minor progressive touches and a pretty versatile sound. They were heavily influenced by British Psych Rock and their sound was more into a late-60's mood than into a reputed progressive spirit. Lots of impressive vocals, balanced guitar solos and leads and a steady rhythm section are the elements characterizing most pieces towards a rather melodic and laid-back atmosphere. Some tracks contain a few rural vibes performed on strings and flute, while the use of piano and Moog synthesizer are the only true connections with Prog Rock, pretty limited and not very pronounced to say the truth. Leave any expectations for intricate material aside and the album ends up to be a truly enjoyable listening with memorable parts and occasional instrumental flashes with jazzy, bluesy and folky touches. Certain parts with a neurotic synth edge do sound quasi-progressive, but the dominance here is the nice use of guitars, sometimes with a heavier sound, and the clean vocals.
Very good Psychedelic Rock with discreet signs of proggy textures. Well-played, full of nice melodies but also secure arrangements, probably a great addition for fans of the style. Recommended anyway.”-rateyourmusic
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