Baby Grandmothers: S/T
Subliminal Sounds (SUB-TILCD23)
From Aural Innovations #36 (May 2007)
Baby Grandmothers was one of the most obscure Swedish psych bands after the
mid 60's. This trio that was formed from the ruins of T-Boones in 1967 enjoyed
cult following in Stocholm, but they only ever released one single, and in Finland.
As it happened, M. A.
Numminen fell in love with the band while visiting Sweden and wanted the band absolutely to come to Finland and record for his label in 1968. This very rare single is one of the most looked-after items in the early Scandinavian psych genre. The band also played on the short Jimi Hendrix Swedish tour and as a backing group for Anki in Finland.
Now Subliminal Sounds has compiled together the original single and five jams that are pretty much improvisation-based and were recorded at the legendary Filip's club that was one of the first psychedelic clubs in Scandinavia. This new CD starts with the excellent A side of the single, "Somebody Keeps Calling My Name". This is the only track with the original master tapes still in existence, and this time we get the whole, unedited 9-minute-long version. The track begins in mid-tempo with two chords and also has some, a bit howling vocals. At the five-and-a-half-minute marker the track speeds up and some echoed screaming joins in. The music gets really wild, this is very hot stuff! I really like this song. I had no idea that there was stuff like this in Sweden already in 67/68… The other side of the single "Being Is More than Life" is a more relaxed, beautiful and melancholic instrumental, that in the ends speeds up a bit. This one also has some jazzy touch. A really nice one, as well. The band had a pretty heavy sound.
The live section begins with "Bergakungen" that starts off rather
peacefully, but the psych rocking takes over gradually bringing to mind the
early Pink Floyd. This is instrumental, hypnotic jamming, I'm also occasionally
reminded of Cream. This is good stuff, and also the sound is totally acceptable
considering the recording date. "Being Is More than Life (2)" is rather
similar to the studio version at first, but there is also some more energetic
jamming and a middle chaos in there later on. This live version is 19 minutes
and 44 seconds long.
"St. George's Dragon" comes next in two different versions. Rather experimental and psychedelic stuff… These fellows obviously never played the same track exactly the same way. Strong shit! The album is finished with the short "Raw Diamond" that has a powerful, fast and pounding drum beat and some great guitar playing. Baby Grandmothers was an excellent band and this one-hour-long album is a great document of their original freaking-out. The booklet includes an interesting band history with pictures. Warmly recommended!
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Reviewed by Santtu Laakso