Barndomslandet are a Progressive, Jazzy, Folky, moody and mostly instrumental eight piece, reminiscent of a time in Progressive Rock when the textures and grooves met at the crossroads of technical ability in the band and the ability to sit and listen in the audience. This album moves along so confidently and casually that you forget how well they are doing it. The first track Burfågelstider (Caged Bird Times, slang for being in prison perhaps) ambles along like an old wagon on a dirt road. It’s lovely in its slowness, with some tasty Doors atmospheres from Adam F. Ärnlöf’s electric piano. Meanwhile, Dan Bessing’s electric guitar plays Folk warm riffs with Mattias Landegren’s Saxophone and Markus Ericsson’s trumpet. The song is ten minutes long and spectacularly – it gets slower with Jens Bessing on drums and Ola Jenslin on bass locking in, in slow motion.
Hjältinnan (Heroine) is like the theme to a TV suspense thriller, horns and riffs have you wondering whether they have been listening to Gentle Giant or King Crimson or Weather Report, The Floyd, Matching Mole or any band with this instrumentation from that Progressive instrumental era. But there’s something else, something about the electric piano makes the band more interesting. The mood is enhanced by their light and shade, out-there effects but the piece still sits solidly in the realm of some long forgotten classic police drama.
Savann I Stan (Savannah In Town, perhaps inferring that the city is a hunting ground) has some lovely moody guitar and interesting horn lines that suddenly make the band sound like a Latin Grateful Dead, a Psychedelic ramble through the flowers of 1969. The electric piano returns to make you close your eyes and then a sax solo that reminds me of Denmark’s Burnin Red Ivanhoe -and not for the first time. They also have some of the same qualities of Dutch seventies band Alquin due to a similar instrumental line up.
Go here for the In Deep Music post on one of my favourite progressive albums of the era.
Last track on the album is the title track Trygghetskontroll (Safety Check) that sounds like the Spanish have got hold of some electric guitars, gone with percussionist Tobias Landegren to Gibraltar to buy some castanets and meet some Arabic friends. Once there, they find Christopher Cook in a doorway playing his Kasbah flute and Markus Ericsson playing a Mexican trumpet, everyone embarks on an imaginary journey by mysterious slow-boat to Morocco. There they meet a mystic who sings to them in a strange language only finding out much later that it is actually Jens singing in Swedish. (Those Swedish mushrooms.) After that all hell breaks loose but even this band’s chaos makes you feel warm inside.
This debut by a completely unknown band is evocative, relaxed, unpretentious, progressive both formulated and rambling into landscapes that might have been created in their childhood, because translating the band’s name, difficult as it may be with the ambiguities of language, one might come upon “Childhood Fantasyland’, a place all of us have happily inhabited.