Monday 5 July 2021

Lindbloom - Crazy Good Lookin' (2021)

Country: Sweden
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Rating: 7/10
Release Date: 21 May 2021
Sites: Bandcamp | Facebook | Official Website | Twitter | YouTube

Here's another submission, from versatile guitarist Magnus Lindbloom in Sweden. Thank you, sir! I've previously reviewed what I now believe is the debut Lindbloom release, Lady Opium, back in early 2019 when Apocalypse Later Music was pretty new, and I enjoyed his cheerful take on jazz rock with plenty of psychedelic flavour. This three track EP is less jazzy and less funky, but it's even more psychedelic and it really knows how to rock too.

The three songs are very different in style, which makes it impossible to guess at where Lindbloom is likely to go next, which is a good thing in my book, as long as they don't jar, which they don't, even with such variety coming in such a small space; this would have been a 12" single rather than EP back in the day, as it doesn't reach sixteen minutes.

It kicks off firmly in hard rock territory. The title track is jaunty and upbeat, but with a real heaviness underpinning it that reminds a lot of seventies Deep Purple, just without the overt Hammond organ. However, Mats Levén's voice has an earthy attitude to it, more akin to a Zodiac Mindwarp. Lindbloom mixes it up at points too, getting psychedelic early and jazzy late, but never changing the mood from that driving blues-based hard rock. It feels like it should roll right into Space Truckin', but it rolls into Time and Space instead.

This one's a psychedelic journey from the outset. I initially thought Led Zeppelin because Lindbloom's guitar has No Quarter in mind as it begins, but he finds a Robin Trower vibe as much as a Jimmy Page. He does a great, echoey job with it and the song heavies up too, when Jonathan Olsson brings his bass into play, and almost finds an In a Gadda da Vida sound for a moment there. This one runs on nicely; it could have been a good three minute song but it's much better at seven minutes.

And, with heavy blues bands like those cited, Lindbloom then switches direction into a cover of Scarborough Fair. That's one of those timeless songs that's so well known that it's difficult to bring anything new to it. I tend to dread seeing that sort of song on any new release, but I really dug this version. It starts out as the folk song it always was, very much in the footsteps of Simon & Garfunkel's single, with a requisite layer of vocal harmony, but it develops into jazzy psychedelia, with an ably utilised string section and a tender solo from Lindbloom that doesn't remotely spring from anything Martin Carthy did first.

The biggest problem this EP has is that it ends. There's also the inevitable side effect of a short and varied release, namely that it has trouble defining what it is. There are common factors between the three songs, mostly through the jazz-tinged psychedelia, but there's not enough material to really make an identity clear. If these were three tracks on a full length album, Lindbloom could weave an identity out of the elements and I really hope he does that because I, for one, want to hear it.

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