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Pearls Before Swine / Tom Rapp - One Nation Underground CD (album) cover

ONE NATION UNDERGROUND

Pearls Before Swine / Tom Rapp

 

Prog Folk

3.39 | 15 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Pearls Before Swine - One Nation Underground (1967)

Before our beloved progressive movement there once was this attractive psychedelic movement. The songwriting was strong, the innovative atmospheres were under construction and the performers gave the music an authentic (often non-commercial) sound. PBS is one of the bands of the psychedelic scene that stood the test of time. There authentic sounding mixture of Bod Dylan-like song-writing, folk and atmospheric rock remain a winner to this day. This results in still expensive vinyls that are been sought after by vinyl collectors like me.

The main man of PFS, Tom Rapp, is a good song-writer and he has a good voice. On the next album he would sound a bit more professional, but the sixties recording of his voice sound really good. Still his voice sounds a bit strange on the debut, as if he is slissing. The acoustic arrangements on the record are good throughout, whilst the use of the organ evoke a real sixties psychedelic pop-feel. The result is a mix between the best of Leonard Cohen's style and soft psychedelic rock. My only complaint is the big difference in volume between the softer acoustic stracks and the rock tracks. The album has a lot of short tracks and most of them are good - excellent.

Conclusion. If you are interested in soft psychedelic folk with a warm '67 recording this will be a very interesting starting point. Even better would be the slightly progressive (and conceptual) '68 Baklava record of Pearls Before Swine. Three stars and recommended to those interested in late sixties rock/folk. One doesn't have to fear commercial sounding pop, this is REAL music. Worth it's reputation given by the vinyl collectors.

* rectification *

Once in a while I am mistaken. Though I had listened very well to side one of this album, I never really spend time on the second side (that at first seemed to be less attractive). I couldn't have been more wrong. Though the first side has some nice folk and psychedelic pop songs, side two is one masterful string of songs with natural progression and great psychedelic atmospheres. The extremely heavy (for it's time) uncle John with it's heavy lyrics stands out as a brave offering. The ending track, Surrealistic Waltz, is my favorite melodic moment of the album. This track has a dark gothic atmosphere that is hard to describe. Though side one is still a three star affair, side two deserves the full five stars. Which makes up for four stars in total. Excellent proto-prog.

friso | 4/5 |

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