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Flower Travellin' Band - Make Up CD (album) cover

MAKE UP

Flower Travellin' Band

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.91 | 24 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
4 stars Here's a mixed bag of greens. That I can tell you. When reading about the conception of the album you understand why. Apparently Flower Travellin' Band was obligated to produce a double album. Well, that's nothing strange about that. Many a band have done that. The only problem, as it were, was the lack of material. The band seemed emptied and the well had gone dry. But by some sort of stubborn perseverance they pulled the best bits out of the bag and threw them onto vinyl. The only problem now was that it wasn't enough to fill four sides of vinyl, so they added some live tracks aswell, and voila, "Make up" was born.

The strange thing about this album is the disjointed feeling one gets when listening to it at first. It seems all over the place. After a few listens you still feel disjointed but it doesn't really matter. It becomes a part of the charm and instead of feeling puzzled you feel envigorated and at peace with this album, so forcibly created. The inclusion of organ works brilliantly. Prior to this album no keyboards were present but here they add to the mix and are really effectful. The opener" All the days" is live, as are quite a few tracks. A demented riff, augmented organ and fuzz bass leads you into screams and oriental style of singing. This is a great track, binding together elements of "Satori" and a gentler. less harsh version of the band without compromising with heaviness and roughness.

The title track is a favorite of mine. Opening with an amazing organ, sounding just the way I want it to sound. A great driving bass and guitar comes in, complementing the organ. "Make up" has such a great drive and pulse. Wonderful guitar solo and the organ solo is to die for in it's simplistic glory. Amazing track! Very much in the hard rock vein.

"Make up" (which is a live track) segues seamlessly into "Look at my window". A gentle track at first with a lovely organ and emotional drumming. The track then takes off and becomes a harder sounding piece. The whole thing is built up in sections and works very well indeed. ALso a great track.

"Slowly but surely" is another killer track. Here they play around with light and shadow, heavy and gentle and it is very accomplished. Great heavy guitar riff and warm organ leads into groovy hard rocking progressive. I love this track. One of the real winners on this album.

"Shadows of lost days" is the ballad of the album and is a very heavy one at that. Wonderfully passionate vocals. A favorite of mine for years.

"Broken strings" is a hommage to all the strings broken by the guitaris throughout the years. Over 7 minutes in length it builds from gentle piano into a many layered comtemplative ballad. Beautiful and relaxing. Just lean back and close your eyes.

Then there's the magnum opus on the album, "Hiroshima", captured live. Originally from the previous album "Made in Japan" this is a real monster. Oriental sounding bass riff leads into the mayhem of warfare by atomic weapons. Painful and catastrophic in appearance it is a true experience to hear in a live setting. There is a lenghty drum solo in here and though I'm not all that partial to drum solos I must admit that it is a magnificent piece of percussive performance. The bass solo is deafening and devestating in it's assault. Terrific listen!

The only track that is totally out of the place and should have been discarded for whatever else is "Blue suede shoes". Great song but not here and not in the lame version presented here. I wish the bass player could have fooled around with effect pedals or the drummer could have yelled into his bass drum while the guitarist broke his strings. Anything would have been better than "Blue suede shoes". It really breaks the magic a bit.

It all comes to an end with "After the concert". A gentle piece of contemplative peace and stillness. Great way to end it all.

"Make up" is not as "difficult" as "Satori". It is slightly more polished and the japanese elements are there but evened out. What you get is really a (sort of) masterpiece of orientally flavored hard rock with lots of progressive attitude. It's a wonderful album in many ways and I really like it. Endearing, at times brilliant, always great and full of stuff to discover. If you want to explore Flower Travellin' band this would be a good place to start, as an introduction, unless you think you've got the stomach to approach "Satori".

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |

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