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Walrus - Walrus CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.75 | 11 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars "Polar Kraut" Rock! Awesome new instrumental project from an ad hoc Swedish band that includes accomplished Swedish film music composer Matti Bye on the organ, two of his long-time associates in the world of soundtrack, cellist Leo Svensson and bassist Kristian Holmgren, and two drummers simultaneously playing the same drum kit (from opposite sides), Mattias Olsson (Anglagard, White Willow) and Henrik Olsson (Mattias' 17-year old son?).

Krautrock is alive and flourishing! Walrus gives us another wonderful testament to the revitalization of the Krautrock sub-genre of progressive rock, though this 33 1/2 minute offering is hardly an LP's worth of tunes. Bass, organ, synths, cello and two drummers are typical contributors to the music here.

1. 'Tromso' (7:14) is constructed very much in the vein of CAN with a steady, hypnotic bass and guitar beat, playful drumming and lots of incidentals'samples (radio & computer/electronic noises), percussives, cello, voices, Farfisa organ'and a humorous Monty Python-esque ending. (8/10)

2. 'Signals' (8:58) begins very slowly, heavily. The slow pattern of bass, background organ (and hiss) and seemingly random viola notes make for a very mysterious, ominous feel. The drums enter in the third minute and soon after a synthesizer, which turns into an organ, to 'liven' things up a bit for a minute or so. A bare bones section ensues for about a minute until everything hypes up into a fast pace (delightful!) while keyboards beep and swirl around in the mix for a while. At 6:50 the cymbol and bass play speed up but then move to a lower volume while things get stripped down to return to the slow-down, though more jazzy feel of the opening pace. A good song, with interesting experimentation in meter and sound level. (8/10)

3. 'Spitsbergen' (14:09) is the album's longest song. It starts with a very spacey synth and echo-plexed bass with creative percussion play for the first two minutes. At 3:37 the song shifts gears with a big chunky bass and full drum support kicking into a driving pace. They are joined by a modulated synth and arpeggiating organ and treated electrified cello. The constant building, climbing of scales and then dropping back to start over are highly engaging and always hopeful (for the listener seeking resolution). In the ninth minute things get stripped down to simplified levels'lots of staccato notes and spaciousness'with the occasional jarring interjection of a sustained low bass chord. At the 10:58 mark things pick back up again into the swirling, throbbing world from the earlier B Part. Almost ANEKDOTEN-like! (Especially with the presence of a mellotron.) The song winds down with the final 75 seconds being very slow and airy. (8/10)

4. 'Static' (3:06) is an austere bass and drum song peppered with synthesized and percussive sounds while an oriental-sounding echoed cello arpeggiates some odd oriental- sounding chords or scales. Kind of cool! (8/10)

Overall an engaging if brief journey into some quite cinematic songspaces.

4 Stars

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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