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SPRING

Spring

 

Eclectic Prog

3.71 | 129 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
3 stars Is it a bird - a plane? NO - It´s ............ well, kind of hard to tell.

Sometimes you just can´t find your place - no matter how hard you try, you´ll end up completely estranged and lost to the world. This sounds harsh, but in a way this perfectly sums up Springs self titled debut from the year 1971, where the hippie-dippy society drenched in peace and understanding was all but slain by the awful Altamont incident(what a brilliant idea to hire the Hells Angels as head of security, Mick Jagger), fighting in the streets and a drug consummation that was out of control.

Spring´s sound is like a hangover from the 60s - evoking thoughts of sitting around the bonfire smoking weed and playing songs you once wrote, while sitting on the can. This is a compliment btw, and one of this records biggest attributes: the songwriting is damn good. In fact, if it wasn´t for the ever present mellotrons and the small changes of pace, melody or structure, I´d think of this as a singer-song writer album...

There is however a big problem surrounding this release. At the time music was going a 1000 miles an hour in every which direction the different artists would take it. The progressive bands in particular were on the verge of climaxing in an esoteric explosive love affair, whereas the pop groups were trying to find there own sound, that preferably shouldn´t be a clear cut resurrection of what was so successful the decade before hand. Spring sounds like neither. They were too progressive for the pop audience and far too sweet and unadventurous for the prog community at the time. It is a real shame, and certainly when one thinks of the resurgence of this particular brand of music nowadays. Coheed and Cambria, Porcupine Tree, Pure Reason Revolution, The Dear Hunter and The Decemberists all dwell in between prog and pop, and as far as I can gather, they are doing pretty good -well at least compared with Spring.

If you love mellotron - and that seagull like, airy floating sound to boot, I urge you to find this long lost treasure. There are some killer guitar solos sprinkled along the album as well, with the one featured on Golden Fleece being my personal fave. The singer sounds a bit like The Verve front man Richard Ashcroft, with that sensuous vibrato effect attached to it, and together with the softness of the mellotron and the whole Moody Blues marinade these guys had been lurking in - things get interesting and quite different from the usual tenors in these kinds of bands, that usually sound like they live off mayonnaise and margarine.

Stand out tracks include the before mentioned Golden Fleece, Gazing and the wonderful Grail, that feature the most progressive shifts and turns this album has to offer, but it does so with grace and a thoughtfulness normally only associated with the more mellow pop artists of the time. I really love the mellotron on this track, which slightly sounds like a melodious whiff of fresh air blowing through a labyrinth - changing pitch and expression all according to the corridors.

A real bipolar treat, that never really finds its true self.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |

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