Think of early-'70s King Crimson delving into avant-garde rock territory, as this Swedish quartet lets it all hang out in a rowdy sort of way. However, the band's free-flowing habit does not signify a retrofitting of the past.
Electric guitarist Daniel Carlsson's sustained notes and blistering progressions act as a symbiotic foil for reedman Stefan Wistrand. And while the musicians generally soar skyward, they tone matters down in spots. Structured upon quirky movements, smothered with angst and staggered pulses, the quartet's music is driven by an obvious sense of direction.
On the duet piece "Swop, Wistrand executes wistful soprano sax lines in concert with drummer Peter Olsen's up-tempo African tom-tom patterns. Then again no one would conceivably accuse these folks of performing background music. Take, for example, Carlsson's maniacal licks in concert with his bandmates' unrelenting attack and swirling countercurrents. On the other hand, Wistrand does instill a few melodic hooks into the grand scheme of things, so the music isn't all about bombast and dissonance. Needless to say, the ensemble saturates its palate with a good-natured vibe that becomes quite conspicuous from the onset. (Recommended...)
Personnel: Stefan Wistrand: soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone; Daniel Carlsson: electric guitar;
Stefan Larsson: electric bass; Peter Olsen: drums.