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The Guardian's Office

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The Guardian's Office The Guardian's Office album cover
3.64 | 22 ratings | 5 reviews | 9% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hit the Ground (4:39)
2. Dark Girl (7:27)
3. Play of Your Life (7:35)
4. The Room Below (5:53)
5. Office of Hard Cash (5:40)
6. Loser in the Sunset (5:04)
7. Heat of That Sound (4:53)
8. The Guardian (5:37)

Total Time 46:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Pl Svik / drums, backing vocals
- Tony Johannessen / vocals, keyboards, backing vocals
- Morten Eriksen / guitars, bass
- Froydis Maurtvedt / bass, bass pedals

Releases information

Cyclops #CYCL-128

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THE GUARDIAN'S OFFICE The Guardian's Office ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE GUARDIAN'S OFFICE The Guardian's Office reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars THE GUARDIAN'S OFFICE is the brain-child of FRUITCAKE drummer Pal Sovik. So the drums do take a prominant role here along with the keyboard / organ work of Tony Johannessen who also is the vocalist.

Things get started with "Hit The Ground" and this song is different from all the other tracks on this album. They really let their hair down on this one, as this song would not be too out of place on DEEP PURPLE's "In Rock"album. There is even some vocal yells from Tony that are found nowhere else on the album. The guitar is great as we are treated to some angular melodies. "Dark Girl" is my favourite song on this record. The instrumental passages remind me of a cross between WOBBLER and NOEKK. Even the vocals on this song sound like the WOBBLER vocalist. This is a slower paced song with keys,acoustic guitar and organ leading the way. More angular guitar melodies later. Nice.

"Play Of Your Life" has some crisp, upfront drumming. Again i'm reminded of WOBBLER as I hear the organ playing. I'm sure I hear mellotron in this one. 6 minutes in the sound is heavenly, as organ, acoustic guitar and drums lead the way. "The Room Below" has some great GENESIS sounding keys, although i'm not a fan of the vocal style on this one as he sort of shouts out the lyrics. Some good guitar solos towards the end of the song. "Office Of Hard Cash" is an instrumental. "Loser In The Sunset" is a catchy tune with a good chorus. "Heat Of That Sound" is a good song that is on the heavy side. "The Guardian" is my second favourite song. Opening with what sounds like flute as the vocals start out reserved and get stronger as organ comes in.The song speeds up 5 minutes in.

This is a good record that has me eager to check out some of FRUITCAKE's albums. 3 stars.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars While I do enjoy most Fruitcake albums, leader Pal Sovik took the astute decision to have some fun and progress into a different zone and see what happens with his The Guardian's Office (cool name, no?). Its mostly an interesting ride, taking all kinds of liberties with the prog envelope as exemplified by the hardrocking opener "Hit the Ground", a romping piece of excellence that emanates aromas of Uriah Heep, Spooky Tooth and similar hard prog blues adventurists. Guitarist Morten Eriksen introduces some nifty oblique, at times thunderous lines, thus consecrating the prog element succinctly. Keyboardist Tony Johannessen has a stellar voice to tackle such ballsy material (nice Gillan screech), in fact his softer timbres are equally engaging to the point of charming as on the occasionally somber "Dark Girl", a woozy mini-epic that suddenly explodes into a fat, steamy and deliberate groove propelled by a monster bass. The Sovik drums keep things focused, the slithering synths carve out all kinds of deep sinews and the mood is exhilarating. The mellow guitar cradles the arrangement perfectly, a paragon of class. "Play of Your Life" gets back to the rockier side but in a more playful mode than the icebreaking opening tune. This is perhaps a more lumbering track but it grows on you mostly due to the amazing singing and the way the band stretches out the theme with some driving interludes (another cool synth solo as well as some more unusual guitar phrasings ), very original but not as luscious as the first two numbers. "The Room Below" oozes into a different sonic expanse; amazing bass-pedal work usher in a raunchy affair with guitar slashes front and center, more quality vocals and a synthesized funeral mid-section with a blisteringly effective solo. The last segment is almost space rock, a Hawkwind lead guitar barrage (short and sweet) doing the damage. The purely instrumental "Office of Hard Cash" is another highlight winner, a simple riff with minimum effort and the various opportunities to wander into a groove (good idea!), a medieval-sounding synth lament only heightens the overall feel, far from complex or polyrhythmic, it's just plain good. Thousand dollar track! "Loser in the Sunset" reverts to a glorious theme (what a chorus!) that is immediately infectious, a charming piece of power prog boogie, synths ablaze again, the axe fretting sweaty and Tony crooning nicely. Excitedly repetitive yet brilliant, as if to hammer the thought home. But the next one is the killer, picture this: a succulently droning bass pedal motif, a sublime guitar lead , Mason-esque drum beat , hurried into harder realms with crunchy ornamentations , a tremendous musical feast. The closer is all about the Guardian, a Tresspass-era Genesis style ballad with the obligatory eloquent synth excursion, a small guitar foray, more of them bass pedal garnishes and a really cool vocal. This little offshoot Fruitcake project is a winner that deserves its place in a prog collection, especially if Scandinavian prog is your forte. 4 sentinel desks from Norge.
Review by kev rowland
4 stars Guardian's Office is a new project by Fruitcake drummer/composer Pl Svik, and sounds as if it should have been released thirty years ago, although there are some modern musical references. This is an album that finds itself deep within the world of Uriah Heep, with the odd modern tinge. Much of this is down to the melodious vocals of Tony Johannessen (who also provides the keyboards) as he does his best to evoke the power and majesty of David Byron. There is a feeling throughout of being transported back in time, and I would defy anyone listening to say that it is from a modern Scandinavian outfit. The line-up is completed by Froydis Maurtvedt (bass) and Morten Eriksen (guitars).

It is an album all about melody and thoughtful tunes, guitar breaks restrained. It is an album that is full of pomp, with bass pedals being used powerfully. It is never rushed and when at times they move away from the Heep sound it is only into an area more normally associated with classic Genesis. It is timeless and sees no point in rushing to get to the end. The length of the album also hearkens back to older times as it is only about forty-five minutes long, yet contains eight songs (Flower Kings please take note ? this is the way to do it!).

Great artwork by Stephen Trodd yet again points back to the golden age of prog, and while this would benefit from being as 12" vinyl release with a gatefold cover that seems to be almost a churlish comment to make. A classic album that I have enjoyed immensely.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Jun 03

Review by b_olariu
4 stars The Guardian's Office, what a nice name for a prog band, the art work aswell is excellent, is a side project of Fruitcake drummer Pal Sovik. The band is from Norway nad released so far a single album in 2002 self titled. Besides Sovik, there are another top musicians involved here, 2 members from Wobbler, Morten Andreas Eriksen and Tony Johannessen plus female bassist Froydis Maurtvedt. So, what about the music, it sounding like is was composed in mid '70, recalling heavy prog bands like Uriah Heep, Blakulla, Rag y Riggen, even Wobbler or Fruitcake ,etc with that specific nordic atmosphere on all pieces. The passages are from heavy riffs combined in excellent way with keyboards and acustic guitar parts, always intresting, sometimes slow and plodding, sometimes little more up tempo, but always great. Theare some great and inventive instrumental sections on all pieces, even an instrumental track named Office Of Hard Cash, really good. I like aswell very much the vocal arrangements, Tony Johannessen voice is quite strong, I like the tone, deep , sad, perfect for such music, the perfect example is the slow dark piece Dark Girl. The guardian is another highlight, flute and keyboards are fantastic. All in all I really like what I've heared here, is quite little known in prog circles, I think it desearves more. A catchy prog album with a fantastic art work. 4 stars for sure.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I am testing the Norwegian water again. This is a sideproject of Pal Sovik from Fruitcake and Briskeby Records. A man who also did some of the production for Rush when they played Njard hallen in Oslo back in 1978. In other words, a bit of a living legend. It is a pity that he is as difficult ... (read more)

Report this review (#295590) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, August 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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