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Trettioåriga Kriget - Hej På Er CD (album) cover


Trettioåriga Kriget

Crossover Prog

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4 stars This, the third album by Trettioåriga Kriget, is not as complex as the previous and definitely not as heavy, but the sound and magic of the band is very much present. If you enjoy the first two albums this also will deliver the goods.

As mentioned the heaviness is toned down and there are more melodic parts. More use of keyboards and saxofone. The lyrics of Thörnvall is probably the best in Swedish rock music as it blends poetic wit with social reflections.

Favourtie songs on the album is the title track, 'En kväll hos X' and 'Ser du mig', but most of the songs are very good. Solid Swedish prog album.

Report this review (#22213)
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Influenced by new wave? No way says the band....not yet.

" deserves mentioning that it had nothing to do with the contemporary rise of the so called New Wave in rock music." So says TK's lyricist Olle Thornvall, apparently tired of the view of critics and fans that the band had somehow sold out their Prog credentials for disco, New Wave, or any other trend in 1978. I'll take Olle's word to be true yet at the same time I can understand why people might think that: "hej pa er!" sounds like a prog rock band hitting the late 70s and adjusting to the sounds around them. Not so says Olle who further explains in the CD booklet that "they were heading in a new direction musically, which paradoxically meant reverting to more traditional forms..towards some kind of mature simplification." But I guess Olle's point is that the change in the bands sound was completely from within and not the result of chasing the dollar signs in the latest trends. Fair enough.

So what does this album sound like? It's not easy to describe. They sound like a Swedish prog-rock band mixed with a little Talking Heads. This album contains 3-5 minute pop flavored rock songs which are tight as hell, instantly memorable, and enjoyable if you are not expecting them to repeat their earlier work. This is a band that can play very well and presents a quality production like you might expect from a Steely Dan album.

"Hej pa er!" opens the album with a track that features a perky shuffle ala Wings' "Coming Up" along with wonderful dual guitar harmonies and near perfect pop sensibilities. This continues in "Natten som alltid" with an amazingly catchy verse melody of bass and acoustic. There are some nice falsetto vocals. Supposedly the lyrics are sad but the music is contrastingly upbeat. I sure wish I could understand the lyrics to this album as the music makes me very curious! There's also some slide guitar in the background. "Stan tur och retur" features a period synth sound in a driving rocker that ends with a good guitar solo. "Moln pa marken" picks up with great guitar work and up front bass to mid tempo drums before the sax enters the picture. This is a beautiful but sadly too-short instrumental with lovely guitar solos inspired by summer's morning mists accordingly to the notes. "Dagspress" is a commentary on the bad news in the papers and the music is again driving rock with spot-on electric solos, synth colors, and inventing drumming. "En kvall hos X" was an important song to the band according to Olle and this is one of those ear-worm songs that is so catchy it just makes you want to move. A slightly funky beat is alternated with a hard rock riff and then a jazzy sax interlude butting in for good measure. Another wailing solo closes this one-guitar fans will not be disappointed by the strong presence of guitar on this album. "Ser du mej?" features a little violin and cello. "En dag om natten" is a darker track with dramatic vocals. The album closes with "Andra sedan" which begins with a clean guitar. This is an instrumental combining a rather melancholic guitar chord progression with a majestic, hopeful keyboard sound. Nice way to end the album which has many upbeat songs but clearly has an underlying sadness to it as well.

Three of the four bonus tracks come from their next album "Mot all odds" which Olle admits was influenced by New Wave and was a disappointment (to them) although the more direct sound had some fans.

The MNW remastered digipak release features great sound, a tri-fold cover to display the lovely artwork, and a fabulously detailed booklet with in depth notes of most songs, lyrics, and great photos. Nice job on this re-issue guys. 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#127390)
Posted Monday, July 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The original and headstrong progressive TRETTIOARIGA KRIGET takes a giant step towards pop/rock and shorter tracks on their third album. A step backwards you should think but IMO they developed their very personal style to a peak on this album.

It is less progressive than the previous two albums but the songs are much stronger here. The band is tighter than ever and every riff is razor-sharp.

The addition of a fifth member who handles keyboards and sax adds a jazzy feel to many songs but TK balance these jazz-elements carefully and let them just give their songs a tint while the sound throughout is solid rock. The pushing bass, the distinct guitar-work and the sonorous voice are still the trademarks for TK but the music is more refined and has a sharper edge on this album.

Strangely enough I find the two symphonic instrumental pieces (Andra sidan and Moln på marken) the album's weakest points, they are too simple and lack finesse. The rest is a bunch of rocksongs with nice melodies, strong riffs and progressive elements. TK:s best album!

Report this review (#164778)
Posted Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
3 stars The Roskilde Festival guy strikes back!

(Before I go off into ramble tamble land here, I'd like to point out that this longish Swedish marathon will have a tiny break after this one, the 10th in a row, but I promise to return to it, as this country's more obscure musical ventures still need all the love I can possibly bring myself to muster up.)

To-the-point songwriting. Tight short tracks, and a melodic hard rock touch to it all. This album encapsulates everything about the guy from Sweden you run into during a Roskilde Festival. He likes his drink, that's for sure. He is head over heels in love with rock, and plays air guitar in his dreams - including those he experiences in daylight. He talks frantically in Skänsk with an upper lip full of snus - and wants everybody to know just how wonderful a band Led Zeppelin is.

I've met my fair share of these guys, and Roskilde wouldn't feel right without 'em. They inspire me to put an album like this on, when I get back into my camp, and if he by some miracle is living inside an audible radius from the music, you're attacked by this caveman scream, for then to be facing a gurgling wild beast 2 seconds later - his hands holding a six pack of warm beers and a half drunken bottle of Jack Daniels.

"Hey man - I didn't know that Danish people were into Trettioåriga Kriget?"

"Well hell - I'm not that sure that they are, but I've always had a thing for Swedish music"

The French kiss feels somewhat intrusive, but then again - he did bring the drink...

Weaving out of late 70s production as you'll pick up in the glacial foggy cleanliness of the synthesizers - swooping into old school guitar laden hard rock with this beautiful Les Paul sound, which is both metallic and loving all at the same time - Hej På Er manages to bring two different sounding periods of rock n' roll together in the same room. Although it's been a while since the two have talked, you kind of get the impression, that the make-up sex is going to be quite spectacular once it gets going. Problem is that it took these guys a bit of time to correlate all these different factors into one big hefty type of deal - with all the exhausts pointing in the same direction. The mix here is really wonderful, don't get me wrong. I happen to love this album, but the instant feel good sensation of the album you get, when you first start playing it, wears off over time - especially if you've recently started digging down in the more complex of progressive musical corridors. This is why Hej På Er is the perfect festival album. It kicks ass, gives off its melodies in an orderly and tight fashion - with absolutely nothing left for the imagination, and to tell you the truth, I get more turned on, when women are wearing feather boas and cucumber dresses with a pound of stardust sprinkled over them. Just like my music, some things are best left for time, wit, imagination and sleepless nights to figure out.

Still, I'd recommend this album to anyone into 70s rock in a heart beat - no question about it. The Swedish vocals are charming and lingering, the guitar playing largely built up around melodic riffing, and already you've got that good old recipe cooking like a lofty kitchen matador doing his thing. Accompanying a steady and well recorded drum beat, you're often treated to different types of rhythmic back-door keyboard wizardry, such as the Stevie Wonder inspired Horner clavinet. Special guests like violin, saxomophone, computer guitar and alternating tempers within the changes from acoustic to electric strings - do colour this record in something that tries to separate it from other such releases of the time, but as much as I love it - and think of long lost summer festivals, warm beer and Swedish snus - Hej På Er is still what it set out to be in the first place, which is fine by me, - but at this stage in my musical-soul-searching-no-holes-barred-adventures-by-night-freeflowing-magical-esoteric-fantasy-circus-voyage, I need music that changes its mood and colours all according to my day, dreams or how my garden looks after a whole day of rain.

Music can be a violent and chameleon like mistress with spikes of Medusa snakes coming out its eyes, but it can also be a jolly old fat fellow singing merrily and heartfelt without ever really surprising you. I'll leave it up to you, which one of these this particular album falls under. It's still a 3.5 star album though, and if you like melodically enhanced motor rock with late night 70s shadings, then this album is for you. It will almost certainly knock your socks off instantly - so let's just hope it stays that way...

Report this review (#625275)
Posted Thursday, February 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In October 1976 Trettioariga Kriget hit the road for an extensive tour throughout England, visiting also Wales and reaching the Scottish borders.The ''Melody Maker'' magazine chose the band among the very promosing rising Rock groups, but to their surprise they were dumbed by CBS upon returning to Sweden.They signed with the newly formed Mistlur label, while keyboardist Mats Lindberg, who helped the band in the previous albums, became a permanent member (I wonder if he was the same guy playing the bass for Kaipa around the same time).Third work by Trettioariga Kriget came out in 1978 under the title ''Hej pa er''.

Featuring a full-time keyboardist, one would expect from the sound of the Swedish to become a little more keyboard-centered, but apparently that never happened.Instead they remained one hard-hitting Prog/Rock act with emphasis on double guitars texts, while the tracks became more conventional with limited progressive moves and more strsightforward songwriting.But the quality of the compositions hasn't dropped a bit, the guys created a set of great Hard Rock songs with some notable progressive tendencies and a furious energy and poetic lyricism.No track exceeds the 5-min. mark, the material here is definitely an affair between Hard and Psychedelic Rock with Mats Lindberg providing the occasional keyboard support, mainly on synthesizer, organ and clavinet.Series of fiery riffs, some extremely beautiful Nordic-styled soloing and a few complex twists, reminding of the band's most progressive values are the basic elements of this work, while several tracks escape from the raw stylings of guitar-dominated sound to become a little more refined and epic via the use of keyboards.Linberg also provides some nice sax lines in a pair of them and the overall sound sits somewhere between WISHBONE ASH and late-70's CAMEL, although the Scandinavian taste always comes on surface due to the use of Swedish lyrics.

Very nice and rockin' stuff.It holds some of the band's previous artistic values, but the focus here is on electrified textures and dynamic guitar workouts with a nice keyboard background.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1370131)
Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2015 | Review Permalink

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