Träd, Gräs och Stenar

Djungelns Lag

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The Swedish collective's second album (and their first live release), Djungelns Lag is assembled from a variety of performances throughout Sweden and Norway in 1971, as good a general representation of their "take it to the people" ethic of that time as any. Having been through a couple of band incarnations already, it's perhaps no surprise that the group already sounds perfectly comfortable jamming away on everything from winningly giddy acoustic strumalongs to fully plugged-in noise. The sometimes murky recording quality -- nothing is bootleg level, but this was definitely the days before cheap and portable hi-fi equipment -- means that the really monster songs like "Sanningens Silverflod" and "Var Vila" don't quite melt the brain if one doesn't make allowances for the difference. Hearing the group work with what would become templates for later generations of head-nodders and acid freaks is certainly a treat. While the quintet hadn't necessarily been original in sounds like the drowsy slow build to "Tidigt Om Morgonen" or the mid-paced lope and guitar haze of "Drammen Export-Sommarlaten," any number of bands from Spacemen 3 on down aimed for the same level of enveloping sound. Meanwhile, the twangy joy of "Munfiol," with mouth harp and violin as the center, is a fun, quick shot of mood variety. At many points the murmur of an appreciative audience can be heard, only fitting for a group that dedicated itself so thoroughly to the show. The long overdue 2002 reissue, besides including a variety of photos and memorabilia as well as a gently tripped-out reminiscence from drummer Thomas Gartz, added one heck of a bonus track. Clocking in at over half an hour, "Amithaba/In Kommer Gösta" is a classic slow burn of a psych jam, starting quietly, steadily amping up, and then alternating between simmer and heat for the remainder of its length.

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