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Träd Gräs och Stenar - Träd, Gräs Och Stenar CD (album) cover

TRÄD, GRÄS OCH STENAR

Träd Gräs och Stenar

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.14 | 17 ratings

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south87
5 stars This is a very misunderstood album. The unfortunate label of proto-Krautrock slapped into Pärson Sound from the start is like a phantom that has forever haunted the band throughout their evolution. The false image created by this label has resulted in people approaching their albums with blurred expectations that fail to be fulfilled. With the "Green Album", this problem is most notorious.

The true "experimental" aspect of Pärson Sound was always the minimalistic music inspired by composers like Terry Riley. The improvisational exploration and development of a small phrases through repetition while maintaining a drone is at the heart of the sound of the band. Their philosophy and world view also included interaction with the audience. The use of "unconventional" instruments like the jew harp, body percussion and bowed instruments was also an important aspect of the "experimental" side of the band and was present in their performances. Every PS/IH/TGS album features these characterstics to varying levels and are the core of their musical style. That being said, by the time of the Green Album, the level of abstraction has been lowered in favor of a more accesible rock sound.

The first half of the album consists of 2 covers. Both are totally different from their original versions and are adapted very naturally into the bands sound. The recording quality is excellent, the guitars are fuzzy and the rhythm section is groovy and prominent. The singing, as always, is not exceptional but is authentic and fits the music. The jamming is present in both tracks but kept controlled so the overall song length feels natural. TGS make the songs theirs, the delivery is spot on. The jamming and the sober interplay of instruments is the true value here.

The second half of the album features the most controversial aspects of the band and probably the one that earns it the dislike of the majority of listeners. The second half of the album features the said "experimental" traits of TGS like the ones found in Sov Gott Rose-Marie which consists of short songs, recordings of interactions with the audience and folk inspired tracks.

"Tegenborgsvalsen" is music for dancing, it is an interesting rendition of light music in a rock band format. The sound is akin to wind bands common in town festivities. "All Makt Åt Folket" is an improvisation with the audience in pure PS style. It even features the classic fade in and fade out that hides the beginning and end of the music giving it a everlasting feel. A monolithic beat is kept by clapping while a series of chants and wind instruments freely fired off as the music grows in hypnotic intensity. As in minimalism, there are gradual changes ocurring throughout the piece. The result is a type of classic controlled ecastasy like the one found in the PS recordings.

Sanningens Silverflod and Svalta Pärla are more traditional songs that begin and end the second half and being much more "grounded" music, they round off the second half pretty well. Sanningens Silverflod is a rocking track that features a folk tune sung by a group of people as a postlude, very reminiscent of Sov Gott Rose-Marie. Svalta Pärla is an eerie acoustic song that ends the album in a dark and completamplative tone. The disparity of moods that occur in the album produces mind trip the previous ones do.

There is really no bad track in the second half, only ones that would maybe would feel "out of place" if you weren't aware of the band's style or expecting something equal to the first half. There is no reason to turn the volume down after the first part (listening to "All Makt Åt Folket" with the volume turned up is a walk in the park compared to "Tunis" from the PS album and is very empowering). The crazy parts are cornerstones of the band's sound and very much enjoyable if you are interested in improvisation. In this sense the Green Album is not unlike Sov Gott Rose-Marie in musical content.

I think the real fault of the Green album is its duration. Every element heard in previous albums is here but in a smaller scale. Had the album been a double LP maybe it could have been much better balanced. I have no doubt they would've had material to spare. How it stands, the album tries to fit to much aspects of the band in such a small time span and the resulting ordering seem confusing to new comers and lacking for fans of the earlier and later material. It gives sense of incompleteness when the album is over, even if it was great until the last moment. In comparison, TGS's live albums are very decently sized and do not leave the same sensation although they are not as faithfully recorded as this one (which is another of its strengths).

So, in terms of musical scale, the Green Album is a small though elegant album, almost with an EP-like feel for PS/IH/TGS standards. In this sense, this is TGS's most tight album as it sheds a great deal of abstraction while retaining the band's musical roots. The music is focused and polished, but short. Whether this is the intended result the band tried to achieve, be it because of bad planning, because of their desire to have a more direct format, no one can say for sure. In any case, The Green Album portrays faithfully the musical ideas and concepts TGS was exploring at the time. Its fuzzy and sour psychedelic sound is effective and leaves us wishing for more.

south87 | 5/5 |

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