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Pearls Before Swine - Balaklava CD (album) cover

BALAKLAVA

Pearls Before Swine

 

Prog Folk

3.98 | 30 ratings

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the philosopher
5 stars "This is trumpeteer Landfrey. One of the surviving trumpeteers of (...) Balaklava"

Pearls Before Swine made their music under the ESP label which gave them total freedom of their artistic ideas. This gave them the opportunity to write this obscure sounding Balaklava. Terms like psych-folk and acid folk are often used to describe this record, but the term Tom Rapp - the mastermind of the band - gave is far more accurate. He calls his music "constructive melancholy". Balaklava is filled with heavy and complex emotional value, which is created by the unusual way of singing of Tom Rapp and the abstract folk accompany which enhances the atmosphere. The album cover is a painting of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, which is a flamish painter from the 16th century.

"One Nation Underground", the debut record of PBS fitted more in the singer/songwriting scene then Balaklava. The stronger melancholic context - created by breathing sounds, singing birds, pipehorn in the background, old recording sounds and tape manipulation - makes this record more obscure and less good comparable with other artists. My favourite song on this record is the "Ringthing", which sounds doomy because of the English horns and the gongs. The sinister sounding guitarnotes and the dark vocals makes this one a real thrill! Another great song is "Lepers and Roses" with great flute melodies and the best vocals of Rapp on the record.

This music is great and obscure and has unique atmospheres. This is PBS at their peak and their most interesting/experimental record. The later "Use of Ashes" is also well-rated, but is far less experimental and falls more in the symphonic folk category. This record is advised for psych collectors and fans of folk.

the philosopher | 5/5 |

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