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First Band From Outer Space - The Guitar Is Mightier Than The Gun CD (album) cover


First Band From Outer Space

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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5 stars First band from Outer Space - The Guitar is mightier than the Gun Written by Scott Wednesday, 09 December 2009 20:24


This was originally released on a limited edition vinyl LP on the Kommun2 label earlier this year in 300 copies. I think it is still possible to find a copy around but it is getting scarce now. Anyway, this is the digital version and it also features an extra 16 min track called "Smokin'". This was actually my favourite release in 2009 and it is nice to see it released in a nice digipack for the fans that are not into or can't play vinyl records. The opening track, "Demons and Haze" is an amazing composition with great dynamics. A real progressive space rock classic. "Turn left to the Mexican BBQ", is more instrumental but also very cool with male-female vocals and acoustic guitar to start before taking a turn left. The band still has that Hawkwind influence but they really do space rock their own way. The long 20 min title track is simply amazing. Very dynamic and it has so many parts. Cool stuff. "Smokin'", the new addition here, has a nice rolling bass line and very spacey vocal style in the beginning as the track travels forward and Johan lays down some awesome lead guitar. The gypsy music part is super cool and really catches you by surprise. A great evolving track and cool addition to the music from the vinyl LP. For all space rock fans.

Report this review (#256821)
Posted Saturday, December 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars Another great effort with the prognosis for a psych/space masterpiece - let us allow enough time and we'll see. Here we have four well thought out songs provided with spaced out jam periods here and there. They let the music flow based on their longstanding experience and make sure that something like boredom won't come up. This sounds like FBFOS are collaborating with Baby Woodrose's Dragontears - stylistically related, not rehashed though. A bit american west coast psychedelia feeling here plus some heavy psych excursions there - which forms the skeleton in order to embed wonderful improvisational spacey parts. The band are reduced to the three-piece core here on this production - so the multiple playful guitar contributions are mostly overdubbed.

As should be expected, the long title track makes out the centerpiece - a spacey intro lets you feel like an astronaut gliding through space and time supported by an extraterrestrial gripping synth work. A varied trip furthermore leads you through short heavier rocking storms provided with rare vocal presence ... as well as long grooving interplanetary voyages with excellently corresponding instruments in the vein of Oresund Space Collective. Finally you wonder how time flies - 23 minutes are vanishing in a snap!

Decorated with nice female/male vocals Turn Left To The Mexican Barbeque at first is made like Greateful Dead and Allman Brothers Band are struggling for supremacy - but this doesn't stay for long of course because they later fade into a fantastic relaxed flow which will please every space rock fan. The melodic Demons and Haze even has some singing along moments - sounds very retro - like a leftover from the 70's - including a gorgeous hallucinogenic finale.

Smokin' is a bonus track especially reserved for the CD production and a strong argument to avoid the LP version - no reason to miss this one (sorry to you vinyl aficionados). This is another example for an unexhaustible reservoir of inspiration. Again it's the variety which impresses - weird synth contributions - a jazzy groove - playful guitars. American west coast psychedelia competes with a Hawkwind adapted mood, also folksy impressions and hallucinatory floating parts. This new FBFOS output is a reliable addition to your space rock collection.

Report this review (#258032)
Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This third effort by Swedish space rocker First Band From Outer Space presents us with a band seemingly in the process of shifting their stylistic expression, and while still remaining within the space rock realms they are now heading towards a completely different part of it.

Their previous album basically came across as a heavier version of British institution Hawkwind, blending in some nice Sabbath-inspired moods. This time around only fragments and a few select segments remain of the former, while the latter has been almost completely eradicated from their sound.

They have traded this with a stronger emphasis on improvisation and light, vintage psychedelic sounds. As well as generally more elaborate constructions. The end result is a CD residing somewhere in between Pink Floyd, Oresund Space Collective and Hawkwind in overall sound, with a few passing nods in the direction of early 70's improvisational based psychedelic rock acts. Mostly good but at least on this occasion not quite managing to create as intriguing moods as on their previous efforts. A good album though, and one that fans of Oresund Space Collective in particular should take notice of.

Report this review (#282501)
Posted Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars This third album from the Swedish space rockers shows a little inspiration inflexion compared to their previous opuses. With only three long tracks (four in the CD edition), the compositions has become less melodic, more stretched and improvised. "The Guitar Is Mightier Than the Gun" also marks another change with the discrete incursion of new elements for the band.

The opener and shortest song of the disc, "Demons & Haze", is simply one of the best compositions from the Swedishs. Best passage of the record, it possesses a powerful space stoner rock introduction with an unusual rhythm and vocal flow. Bombastic! The rest of the song is slower and features spacey keyboards reminiscent of Tim Blake. "Turn Left to the Mexican Barbeque" starts with a calm acoustic guitar, to continue with a heavy space metal jam with female vocals. Enjoyable, but we already heard better from FIRST BAND FROM OUTER SPACE. The 23 minutes title track is a little unusual for the band. Not entirely space rock or stoner, this piece alternates soft floyd-ish, psychedelic improvised and joyful cheesy moments. The middle part is too long and the music doesn't seem to go anywhere. Finally, the overall result is average.

The CD edition includes a 16 minutes long bonus track, "Smokin". This is rather a patchwork of different extracts than a structured composition. The song contains long calm passages, nervous moments, short middle-eastern melodies and HAWKWIND-esque touches. Not essential and also a bit lacking musical direction, but more convincing than the title track.

"The Guitar Is Mightier Than the Gun" is a little unequal and incoherent. The band wanted to evolve and emancipate from their initial stoner / HAWKWIND roots by proposing something new, which is a good thing. However, these novel elements are, on the one hand, stretched space rock improvisation (which has been done before in the 70's), and, on the other hand, soapy symphonic passages. The melodies are also less present than on their great previous album "Impressionable Sounds Of The Subsonic". The only remarkable track of the record is the opener "Demons & Haze".

Enjoyable if you like space rock and HAWKWIND, but not the best place to discover the band.

Report this review (#1550564)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2016 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This Swedish Space Rock band may have graced us with only three studio albums(05/06/09) but they sure have had an impact with yours truly. It was over 15 years ago I reviewed their middle album "Impressionable Sounds Of The Subsonic" on here excitedly giving it 5 stars originally but at some point dropping that to 4.5 stars. That album was so heavy and melodic with great vocals, I was so impressed. It got me kick started into this style of music as I ended up getting into HIDRIA SPACEFOLK, KINGSTON WALL, ELECTRIC ORANGE, 35007 and ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE. Yes HAWKWIND too who have influenced a ton of Space Rock bands.

"The Guitar Is Mightier Than The Gun" is the Swedes final record(so far) from 2009 and it's a departure from what they did before this as we get three long tracks with some jamming and improvised sounding material added. They also have added some non-Space Rock styles throughout making this somewhat unique sounding and it doesn't always work which is why I rate "Impressionable Sounds Of The Subsonic" higher. These non-Space Rock styles just seem to just pop up and they are more playful, less serious usually than what went before.

A five piece with two vocal guests and no less than four of the band members add synths to this recording besides their main instruments. The singer/guitarist adds FX as well and he will go on to play with ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE at some point. A talented man. "Demons & Haze" opens with drum rolls galore before it kicks into an uptempo HAWKWIND-like groove. A change after a minute with pulsating keys and more as vocals arrive. A spacey calm before 3 minutes as it changes completely again. Man when the vocals arrive it's so anthemic. Best part of the song reminding me of their previous album. Vocals step aside before 5 1/2 minutes as the guitar solos on and on until after 7 minutes.

"Turn Left To The Mexican Barbeque" is such a funny title coming from a band out of Sweden. Very trippy with strummed guitar, a psychedelic haze really. Vocals after a minute. Backing vocals as well including one of the talented female guests. Nice picked guitar solo 2 minutes in. It turns more intense before 3 minutes. before easing up a minute later with more of that picked guitar. It kicks in hard after 4 1/2 minutes with some killer guitar. So many twists and turns and this will continue. I like that they included the excited talk of the band members when the song ends. The title track is over 23 minutes long and like the last track it's an adventure but maybe the one that works the least because it's on this one that the different styles are added which don't always work. Still what a track, I mean all over the place yet we get repeated themes trying to keep it all together. A lot of highs on this track.

I'd love if these guys got back together and did another one like "Impressionable Sounds Of The Subsonic". This release might not equal that one but man this is a keeper that I'm very glad I own.

Report this review (#2844042)
Posted Wednesday, October 5, 2022 | Review Permalink

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