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Green Wave - We Used To Cut The Green Grass / The War Is Over CD (album) cover


Green Wave



3.78 | 9 ratings

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4 stars 21st Century Hippie Rock

The striking feature of this double disc from German psychedelic mushroom rock band Green Wave is the spectacular panaramic artwork by Marc Friese that adorns the cover. Simultaneosly real and sureal, it perfectly describes what the listener is about to share with the characters in this epic story as they endure conflict, love, confusion, isolation and separation with a certain togetherness in a dangerous time.

It would be best to begin with the one minor drawback of this unusual work. Unfortunately the complete story is not presented on the two discs which might cause some initial confusion. However, this is compensated for by the excellent descriptive liner notes provided ( in both German and English) that also guide the listener towards the Green Wave website where they can find all the lyrics to the three part story or trilogy as it is refered to by the band. The general concept is nonetheless maintained so the missing part of the story is just a minor detail. And if one just wants to enjoy an hour and a half of some wonderful music without worrying about the story then one will find an excellent selection of songs in the tradition of progressive rock of the seventies that can be considered individually that paint, seque and blend themselves into one another beautifully.

But for those interrested in both the story and the music this is where the treat lies on "...we used to cut the green grass... the war is over...." So without spoiling the story ( I'll leave that up to the band) it can be best summized as a post-apocalyptic tale. While most stories of this sort are of a science fiction nature this one centers around the spirit and emotions of human beings within a threatened and fragile environment. In other words, it could have really happened or could happen. The story centers around a toxic event that occurs over Great Britain. The main characters are exiled to the Spanish coast where they hope to find a better life and happiness.

While this immaculately engineered and self-produced album, doesn't reach virtuosic proportions, the musicians on the work are superp players none the less. It is a very orchestral album with lots of keyboards, but at times the fire and fury of heavy metal and punk surface. Solemn and sullen passages also reflect the moods and concepts of the individual songs so it is a very dynamic work that doesn't drag out on one musical tone.

While the writing is an all out group effort the lyrical concept is the brainchild of Rainer Wahlmann, the poet laureate of the group. During the early seventies Wahlmann was busy being a full blown hippie in a rather obscure German blues rock band called Dies Irae that released a singular album in 1971 entitled " First ",some of that attitude carries over to Green Wave in the 21st century .Wahlmann is 60 something and sounds no different than he did in 1971 when fronting Dies Irae. But for those who might be familiar with Dies Irae be forewarned : this is an entirely different band.

Being a German band ( who sing in English ), those who are familiar with some of the zany and bizarre effects employed by such bands from the early seventies Krautrock movement such as Guru Guru, Grobschnitt, Hoelderlin and others will be delighted just as I was to hear some of that here, Rockpommel's Land by Grobschnittcomes to mind. Sound devices are used very effectively within the contexts of the songs but not overblown. Recalling longer concept albums of the seventies ( Yes, Focus, Genesis etc.), I was very suprised to find a concept album of this length appearing in the year 2009! So this is another treat for those who relish those precious years.

Green Wave's opus "...we used to cut the green grass...the war is over" will definitely take a few listens to fully appreciate. But once you get it it will give you a great feeling. Maybe take it out on the iPod to the park on a sunny afternoon where there are children playing, dogs chasing sticks and people strolling and let your mind flow. That would be the perfect backdrop over which to enjoy this forward looking concept album that does not forget the terrible lessons of the past but above all gives hope in this ferocious world that can change without notice and that will never be the same regardless of how much we might long for it.

A very suprising jewel from a very little known band from Saarland, Germany..

Vibrationbaby | 4/5 |


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