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Zamla Mammaz Manna


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Zamla Mammaz Manna Familjesprickor album cover
4.14 | 124 ratings | 17 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Five Single Combats (5:52)
2. Ventilation Calculation (5:05)
3. The Forge (5:04)
4. The Thrall (live in Strassbourg and Charleville, France) (5:05)
5. The Panting Short Story (3:52)
6. Pappa (with Right of Veto) (live in Sülfeld, Germany) (4:27)
7. The Farmhand (7:33)
8. Kernel in Short and Long Castling (5:40)

Total Time 42:38

Bonus track on 2008 remaster:
9. Klossa Intro Ikarien (live Reims 80) (6:39)

Line-up / Musicians

- Eino Haapala / guitar, vocals
- Lars Hollmer / keyboards, accordion, vocals
- Lars Krantz / bass, vocals
- Vilgot Hansson / drums, percussion

- Hans Bruniusson / drums & marimba (6)

Releases information

Title translates as "Family Cracks"

Artwork: Lars Hollmer and Eino Haapala

LP Silence ‎- SRS 4662 (1980, Sweden)

CD Silence ‎- SRSCD 3612 (1993, Sweden)
CD Arcàngelo ‎- ARC-3014 (2008, Japan) Remastered by Ichiro Tanaka with a bonus Live track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ZAMLA MAMMAZ MANNA Familjesprickor ratings distribution

(124 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ZAMLA MAMMAZ MANNA Familjesprickor reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really! While successor project Von Zamla was recording their first album, this version of the most fascinating Swedish soap opera was still going strong but nearing the end. In this episode , aptly named Family Cracks (where I suppose they discover the son is smoking crack).The second track is really jazz-rock and comes with cymbals imitating broken chinaware (probably the mother chasing away the drug dealer) Haapala and Holmer manage another one of those classic RIO albums with happy sounding moods but not yet able to make you dance. However, two tracks are sung and one of them is really funny Poppa(And His Right Of Veto) even if you dabble in Swedish.

Will the music be as electric in the following album as it is on this one , will the son of the Zamla recover from his severe drug addiction? Well folks, Stay tuned and see you next week in the following instalment as Zamla becomes Noble and changes in Von Zamla......

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars IMHO, it was during their Zamla Mammaz Manna era that the combo extraordinaire Samla Mammas Manna delivered their best stuff - go figure, surpass the SMM material! "Familjesprickor" was their farewell album, so you can say that the Swedish band left the stage with flying colours (in fact momentarily, since a brief reunion took place a few years later). Apparently, this final phase was not easy to carry on: drummer Hans Bruniusson left soon after the recording sessions had started, and had to be replaced by Vilsot Hansson, while the curtain call ambience was clearly felt in the air during the time spent in the studio, performing, rearranging and mixing the new repertoire. Yet, you can tell that this ambience, so inconvenient in terms of emotional stability, proved to be fruitful in terms of musical merits and energetic performing. By this time, new guitarist Enio Haapala (Apetrea's replacement) had instilled an enhanced drive into the guitar parts making them more powerful and psychedelic, in this way, affecting the band's overall sound, which is now more sophisticated, more charged, more aggressive. The band themselves claim that the music in this album is not "as optimistic and happy as it used to be", but the listener should not expect mournful and/or languid music. Everything remains as colourful and exciting as always, only more tense, and as I already stated, more aggressive and more charged - that's where the inner tension comes from, mainly. There is also a decreased number of folly chanting, and that may be another hint of the lack of happiness in the album, a lessened desire to sing and hum. Regarding the repertoire itself, it's perfectly even in its richness and sense of surprise, all the time demanding a lucid awareness from the listener. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the opening track displays an impressive mixture of polka and jazz rock, with some Frippian guitar and Zappaesque extravagant chord progressions in the keyboard parts. A great opener, indeed. Track 2 is more remarkably melodic, with guitarist Haapala assuming the leading role, except for a brief piano solo by Hollmer. 'The Forge' includes some disturbing guitar soundscapes and some delicious circus-like accordion chords on a funky-rock basis: something the listener needs to hear before the ultra-dadaist genius nonsense displayed in 'The Thrall' - Henry Cow fan membership required to enjoy this one. A bit less deconstructive but more intensely aggressive is 'The Panting Short Story', mostly due to the guitar parts: the odd tempos and bizarre chord progressions on keyboards keep things standing firmly on SMM's typical jazzy ground, but the hard rocking vibes in Haapala's riffs and picks remains prominent right until the end of the song. I feel the fade-out comes too soon - I wish this particular fave of mine would have been a bit longer. The nest two numbers bring some extra colours in ZMM's pallet: the reggae cadence in 'Pappa' comes pretty handy in order to convey some jolly, healthy sarcasm; the subtly added touches of Latin jazz in 'The Farmhand' helps to reduce the tension that has been predominant for most of the album. And finally, 'Kernel in Short and Long Castling' starts as typical SMM (burlesque + jazz complexity + folkish nuances), but it won't take long before the tension starts to show again, in this way providing a proper ending for the album. Overall rating: 5 stars, no less for this masterpiece.
Review by The Hemulen
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Well, this album was a surprise. Not because it was so different to the works of Samla Mammas Manna but in fact the very opposite! I was pleasantly surprised by how close in sound to their previous works it really was. The reviews and descriptions I'd read had lead me to believe that it was dark, dingy RIO affair akin to Henry Cow or Univers Zero. Anything but! The playfulness, quirkiness and accessibility of the Samla of old is very much present on this record. Yes, it's a bit dirtier in its sound - a smidgeon more dissonant than Maltid or Klossa perhaps, certainly they've cut down on the comical wailing (but not altogether as tracks like "The Thrall" show) - but to call this album "dark" is misleading in my opinion. It's simply too mischievous for such a word.

So, what of the compositions themselves? Well, they are simply amongst the very best any of the musicians involved have ever created. They're much tighter and more composed than some of the earlier Samla excursions, though they do stretch their improvisational legs on a few tracks. The guitar is more dominant than ever, but the keyboard and drums still make themselves known, as do a few quirkier sounds like metal clanking on "The Forge" and some excellent bottle blowing on "Ventilation Calculation". The album is a wonderful cornucopia of moods, textures, tempos and so on but it doesn't suffer from seeming confused or directionless. As I said before, this is a very tight and arranged offering.

What makes this album, and indeed all Zamla/Samla records, so appealing is their energy, creativity and playfulness. If those three words sound appealing to you then don't delay in picking up this gem of the more accessible side of RIO (if such a thing even exists). You'll be treated to a delicious blend of dissonant rock, fusion-esque jazz, touches of swedish folk and anything else that occurs to them at the time (Pappa for example has a distinctly reggae feel). If you take delight in the bizarre or you're wondering if there's more to RIO than Henry Cow, this is an album for you.

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Fantastic!

This was sadly the last Samla/Zamla album to be released for nearly a 20-year period. This album has a more serious and mature style to it than earlier Samla albums, and more avant- prog-ish, though covering equally as many genres as before, only in a even more technical and tight style. This is nothing like "Måltid" and "Klossa Knapitatet", but you can still hear the SMM style to it, and the playfulness is still present. I wish they could have continued in this style because I enjoyed this album so much that it is now my favourite Samla/Zamla release, at least from what I've heard of them. It's just so interesting and great to listen too. There are only one song with lyrics here, track number six named "Pappa" (which means "Daddy"). The lyrics is plain silly and goes like this:

"Daddy, why aren't you home yet? Daddy, why aren't you home yet? I've been waiting the all night long, I've been waiting all night long, I've been waiting the all night long, I've been waiting all night long" followed by: "Now I'm happy again, cause I am going to buy a daddy". Sick, but extremely funny.

Over to the musicianship, drummer Hasse Bruniusson only plays on one track here, while Vilgot Hansson takes over the drums for the rest of the album. He does an excellent job throughout and fills Bruniusson's shoes very well. Lars Hollmer plays some really interesting accordion parts here, as well as his usual keyboard melodies that is very dominant here along with the Eino Haapala's guitar. Lars Krantz's bass is excellent and backs up the music extremely well. There is none bad tracks here; all of them are great, with the best ones being "Farmhand", "Five Single Combats" and "The Forge". The weakest one being "The Thrall" because it doesn't really fit in, but it's still very good nonetheless.

In sum, this is a well-arranged, tight and complex album. Less happy than previous releases, but the playfulness and creativity is still present all the time. It's a bit unpredictable and quirky and last but not least: Unique, as with all Samla/Zamla albums. I'll give this one 4.75/5. Definitely Essential in every RIO/Avant-Prog lover's collection!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars It's kind of funny that in the liner notes the band explains that the reason this record isn't as optimistic or happy as past albums is that they were breaking up, and that these circumstances have affected the music. Kind of funny because this is energetic, exciting and fun music for the most part. This was a pleasure to listen to with the complex instrumental work and band interplay. Lots of variety as well on this one and quite accessible too. There are no horns on this album but hey there's an accordion !

"Five Single Combats" opens with piano and cymbals, there is so much going on in this uptempo track. The percussion is great and there are vocal melodies as well. Lots to enjoy on the opening song. "Ventilation Calculation" is dominated by guitar and drums in the one minute intro. This domination continues. The guitar melodies are a treat in this straight forward song. Piano after 4 minutes. "The Forge" is an uptempo song that is sort of similar to the opening track. A collage of sounds greets our ears. Accordion 2 1/2 minutes in. Just a great sounding tune. "The Thrall" was taken from live performances in France. Vocal sounds and cymbals create lots of atmosphere with no real melody. The song starts to build 2 minutes in with some eerie sounds. This is a freaky song.

"The Painting Short Story" opens with some excellent guitar that gets even better (more tasteful) later. Outstanding drumming as well as piano arrives before the song really kicks in at the 3 minute mark. "Pappa (with right of veto)" is one of only two songs with lyrics. It was recorded live in Germany. Aggressive vocals with a good melody. This is the catchiest song on the album. The song calms down 2 minutes in with some crazy vocals before building back up. Vibes? and drums to end it. "The Farmhand" is a lighter song with piano, drums, guitar and bass before 2 minutes. This one has vocals too. Seems like they are having fun on this cool tune. "Kernal In Short And Long Castling" opens with some fantastic drum / piano interplay. Guitar arrives before the song settles down and then rises back up beautifully to a full sound. A nice melody after 3 minutes before the original melody returns 5 minutes in to end the song.

This is such a classic that you should really get while you can. The cover that shows a picture ripped in half of a family in a boat, and the title of this album, has to have special meaning concerning the band breaking up.

Review by Rune2000
5 stars This is definitely the strongest SMM/ZMM album and it's quite sad that this particular band formation split up after such an excellent release. Compared to the previous albums from SMM/ZMM this one doesn't feel as humorous although there are definitely some funny parts towards the end.

What makes this Familjesprickor great is actually the instrumental jam sessions which are totally jaw-dropping! The first five tracks create such a high intensity so when Pappa (With Right Of Veto) and The Farmhand come around and loosen the mood I usually just feel chocked from such a big contrast but I guess that's is exactly what the band was aiming for. The final track Kernel In Short And Long Castling, once again, puts the album in top gear and is a real gem of a composition which reminiscent of Henry Cow and Univers Zero.

After the last note of the album puts the whole experience in a perspective I realize that this is one great album. A true gem and a must have for any progressive rock fan!

***** star songs: Five Single Combats (5:52) Ventilation Calculation (5:05) The Forge (5:04) The Panting Short Story (3:52) Kernel In Short And Long Castling (5:40)

**** star songs: The Thrall (5:05) The Farmhand (7:33)

*** star songs: Pappa (With Right Of Veto) (4:27)

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars More people need to hear this album. This just may be the greatest prog album from 1980. I can think of a few contenders, but almost nobody was making progressive rock as good as this that year. This album has something in common with both Abbey Road and Red: all three were recorded just before the bands called it quits. All three albums also happen to be amongst the best things all three groups did. Around 1977 Samla Mammas Manna changed their name(a little) and shortly after became part of the Rock-In-Opposition movement. As ZMM they released two albums. They disbanded in 1980. SMM founder/keyboardist/accordionist Lars Hollmer(RIP) continued on with Von Zamla.

The music on Familjesprickor is a mix of fusion, hard rock, symphonic prog, polka, Swedish folk music and avant-rock. It's very playful but much more serious sounding than anything SMM did. Unlike SMM there are few vocals here. The most notable exception would be the song "Pappa(With Right Of Veto)". This song is the greatest example of Swedish reggae I have ever heard. It is also the only example of Swedish reggae I have ever heard. Recorded live, it's a great little tune. Another song with vocals, and one of the best songs here, is "The Farmhand"(which you can listen to on PA). The vocals here sound like the Smurfs with rabies. While the music sounds like a polka song performed by fusion virtuosos.

"The Thrall" is the most avant piece here. Parts of it remind me of Crimson's "Indiscipline". "The Forge" was later reworked as the Von Zamla song "Forge Etude". The version here is far better. Another highlight is the first song "Five Single Combats". I love Hollmer's synths on this one. The other songs are good too. This would be a great introduction to Avant-Prog. Apart from "The Thrall" there is nothing very avant here. A really good, fairly consistent and well produced album. Familjesprickor(or Family Cracks if you wish) is an album worthy of 4.5. Because of "The Thrall" and "Pappa" I can't say that this is a masterpiece of prog, so this gets a very solid 4 stars.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars This is my favourite Zammla Mammaz Manna album. Avant prog is the term most suited to this weird and wacky recording from 1980. It's pretty much instrumental and mostly very proggy sounding, but played brilliantly, effortlessly and with a bit of joy in their hearts.

Occasionally frantic, sometimes downright unusual (eg. blowing in bottles half way through the tune). Quite different in sound to Sammla Mammas Manna from years past. At the risk of contradicting myself, this is complex and quite off the wall but is one of the easiest to listen to RIO albums I've heard.

Crammed to the gills with ideas and inventiveness, I'm sure they could have made a double album out of this no bother. In a way, it's like a far more listenable Zappa with a lot more going on and is a lot more professional in its execution.

A super album which is completely unpredictable, cheery and energetic that only fails the perfect score by a short margin.

Review by Sinusoid
4 stars Would not want to be that family's neighbour'

If you come into FAMILY CRACKS from any Samla Mammas Manna works, this is bound to make you feel rather strange inside. If any SMM work like MALTID was a holly-jolly band happy to dance with the chickens, ZMM is chasing those same chickens with a cleaver in hand. It has many of the SMM pieces that made that band spectacular, but this is such a demented, twisted, psychopathic version of that band, to put it lightly.

The opening piano is only the calm before the storm; ''Five Single Combats'' is very brash, industrial, almost metal sounding piece of music processed through the SMM colander. As I travel through the first half, I'm thinking, ''this is bizarre; SMM went completely deranged here.'' Hollmer uses more synths on this album than ever before, and the whole sound is comparable to Present in terms of weirdness. The tension on ''The Thrall'' is spellbinding.

''Pappa (With Right of Veto)'' has vocals on it, and the only track of the album to extensively feature them. They sound more gremlin-esque than chirpy, yet carry over the nonchalant humour from SMM. ''The Farmhand'' is the only track here that I can picture SMM doing; it sounds just like a farm. Other highlights include the metallic sounding ''The Forge'' and the jazzier ''The Painting Short Story''.

I make too many comparisons to SMM here; that's because the structure of both bands are largely similar (they share the two Lars). Disappointingly, the drumming is too orthodox compared to what I'm used to from SMM, chiefly because Bruniusson plays on only one track here. Make no mistake, Zamla Mammaz Manna are their own band, and this FAMILY CRACKS is a real treat to bestow in your musical collection.

Review by Warthur
4 stars I wasn't keen on earlier Zamla releases, and as far as Samla went I always preferred their Canterbury-influenced material to their more avant-garde stuff. But Family Cracks really is an excellent little album; it's essentially Zamla presenting their own take on the RIOish chamber rock concept as espoused by Art Zoyd, Univers Zero, and (to a lesser extent) on the last Henry Cow album (Western Culture). Zamla play a more light-hearted variant of this style, less horror- based than Art Zoyd, Univers Zero and Present and less hostile than Henry Cow. With snatches of polka infiltrating proceedings, the overall effect is genuinely original and possibly the group's greatest artistic accomplishment.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This may be the final album by a band in disarray, but somehow they're still able to put together some incredibly tight performances of highly demanding compositions.

1. "Five Single Combats" (5:52) (8.75/10)

2. "Ventilation Calculation" (5:05) a top three composition on the album because of the balanced contributions of all of the instruments and fairly decent recording and mix. Unfortunately, it sounds like an American (Allman Brothers) farewell song. (9/10)

3. "The Forge" (5:04) a solid and decent, hard-driving jazz-folk rock fusion song. I love the prominent/featured performance of the accordion. My second top three song. (9/10)

4. "The Thrall" (Live in Strassbourg and Charleville, France) (5:05) opens as if it was faded in, mid-song, during an improvisational section of another song. Weird with little substance or and no apparent cause or aim. (7/10)

5. "The Panting Short Story" (3:52) far more sedate and straightforward (and melodic) than is typical of SMM/ZMM but still complex and tight. (8.5/10)

6. "Pappa (with right of veto)" (Live in Sülfeld, Germany) (4:27) rock and roll! (on the bluesy side) which then turns into a kind of comic parody of Slavic (Russian) folk music. Interesting. The animosity between the two countries persists. (8.75/10)

7. "The Farmhand" (7:33) no tradition or institution (or trade) is off limits from the barbs of sarcasm of these guys. Like the soundtrack music to a comic silent movie of the 1920s.(13/15)

8. "Kernel in Short and Long Castling" (5:40) music to be taken seriously--due to the extraordinarily tight musicianship, broad dynamics, and effective expression of a central mood--but also due to the best sound engineering of any song on the album. My final top three song. (9.25/10)

Total Time: 42:38

There's something missing in the music on this album. Heart or soul. The fact that the band had to cull two songs from live performances is, to my mind, indicative of a band on their last legs.

B/four stars; a nice contribution to a prog lover's music collection--especially if you like unusual, often humorous music from top notch musicians.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I believe, that it is very difficult writes a review about any disk of the Swedish band ZAMLA MAMMAZ MANNA or in any other "version" of the same band (VON ZAMLA & SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA). Such fact is directly linked to the sound wealth that ZMM presents and also certain vocal & instrumental "e ... (read more)

Report this review (#502913) | Posted by maryes | Sunday, August 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Zamla Mammaz Manna's third album, is quite different from their early SMM works like "Måltid". The Complexity is there, the humor is there, but it sounds alot sharper and sophisticated. "Ventilationkalkyl" (Ventilation Calculation) is one of the highlights of the album, together with "Målande Nov ... (read more)

Report this review (#88592) | Posted by Abstrakt | Thursday, August 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Humorous and ironic flowing, rocking and scorching music with two drummers. In Ventilation Calculation we can hear blowing into bottles! Two tracks - The Thrall and Pappa (the only track with funny and sometimes reggaeish vocals) are live cuts. One of my personal favourites of Lars Hollmer's c ... (read more)

Report this review (#60357) | Posted by Rainer Rein | Thursday, December 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I think this is a really good exalple for a definite progressive rock album. the instruments used are mostly well known and nealrly every band uses them. in this particular album they are played in a very different and intersting manner. the music is played exactly and furious compositions reach ... (read more)

Report this review (#42269) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The longer Hollmer etc produced, the more original they became. This was their last "rock" album (the next, Von Zamla's "Zamlaranamma" was something else), and their most exciting/entertaining/interesting to listen to. Also their last to feature Hasse Bruniusson, today percussionist with the F ... (read more)

Report this review (#21613) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 24, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars great record this one, folks! the music is complicated yet highly enjoyable and even funny at times. sometimes zmm are close to henry cow, national health or the likes (which adds to it all, in my opinion), but they are ultimately a very original band. the only problem could be that the only t ... (read more)

Report this review (#21612) | Posted by | Wednesday, July 28, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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