Young Flowers


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Most of the material from both of the late-'60s albums by this Danish group was combined into one release on this 1997 CD reissue. It shows a band extremely influenced by heavy psychedelic blues-rock in general, and by Jimi Hendrix and Cream in particular, though without the songwriting excellence that those two acts often brought to their recordings. Blomsterpistolen in particular has some of the surface trappings of late-'60s records featuring Hendrix and Clapton in the squealing distorted guitars, phasing, and overall transmutation of the blues to a hard rock format. The opening "Overture -- Take Warning" alone sounds like it's determined to stretch the white noise effects that Hendrix used to open songs with a flourish to full-track length. The album certainly didn't lack ambition, as three of the songs used lyrics by Walt Whitman, and they tried their hand at a nine-minute jam-type thing, "April '68," as well as a hard blues-rock interpretation of Bob Dylan's then-recent "Down the Cove." But it's the shortest song, "To You," that's the most focused and appealing, very much recalling the shortest and most focused songs of Cream. While there was more variety in No. 2, it was still pretty undeveloped in the songwriting department, and ultimately hard to keep your attention upon over the course of an album. Perhaps it doesn't help that their grasp of the English language (in which most of the songs are written) and accent isn't as good as that of many Scandinavian bands; it's hard to avoid awkwardness in any song built around the phrase "Won't You Take My Place in the Queue." The bigger issue, however, is that the riffs are both unmemorable and sometimes just excuses for half-jammed-type passages and freaky bits to build around, especially on the ten-minute closer, "Kragerne Vender." The proto-prog rockish alternation of melancholy folky melodies and harder rock of "And Who But I Should Be" would have been a more promising direction to pursue more often, though even that's in danger of drowning under an overuse of phasing. Though this compilation is lacking one song from No. 2, "Calypso," it does contain a track that didn't make it onto either of the LPs, "Party Beat," which was used for the 1969 soundtrack of the film Quiet Days in Clichy.