Träd, Gräs och Stenar

Träd, Gräs och Stenar [1970]

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Fans of the Scandinavian psychedelic rock connection know that Träd, Gräs och Stenar were the real deal. A wild quartet, prone in concert to spontaneous recorder or Jew's harp ensemble pieces, performance stunts, and extended acid jams, their music recalls the Mothers of Invention as much as Parson Sound -- and even more so on their debut LP from 1970. Side one of the LP was filled by two covers and not just any covers: Jimi Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" (yes, not penned by him, but TG&S's rendition clearly stems from his recording of Dylan's song) and the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" -- these Swedish guys had guts. "All Along the Watchtower" is taken at a crawling tempo and turned almost gloomy by the use of a menacing rhythm guitar. The Stones anthem fails to impress vocally, but it opens on a fabulous extended freakout. The track lasts over ten minutes. Side two consists of two original songs and two spontaneous live tracks. Led by two Jew's harps and a violin, "Svarta Pärla" has strong folk overtones and provides the highlight. "Tegenborgsvalsen" and "All Makt Åt Folket" stand as examples of the group's live madness -- a recorder piece and an audience chant. In short, this eponymous debut captures the spirit of the band before its talent. Some may find it a bit lacking in substance, but it remains a valuable document of the era.

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