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35 Tapes — Home
(Apollon Records ARP047, 2021, CD / LP / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-05-22

Home Cover art

The sophomore release for this excellent Norwegian trio has them again playing wonderous sounds inspired by the progressive rock of the early 70s, and paying homage to the general feeling that inspired many of us along our path of musical discovery. The band is drummer Bjorn Stokkeland, Jarle Wangen (bass, guitar) and Morten Lund (guitars, lap steel, and keyboards — including the mighty Mellotron with its 35 tapes), Lund also being a long time member of Green Isac. The vocals are shared by Wangen and Lund, and are quite good, making their music a bit reminiscent of early Camel or mid-70s Pink Floyd, or even the gentle side of classic Moody Blues. Nothing edgy or difficult here, everything flows smoothly. The pace of the songs is slower, but certainly full of energy, with bright wandering melodies and gorgeous textures. When the 12-string comes out, the listener may be reminded of Anthony Phillips era Genesis as well. The debut album Lost and Found consisted of three shorter tracks, followed by a side-long epic; here on Home, there are two album sides of three songs each, though a few of those approach the ten minute mark. The opener, “Undertows,” is a powerful opening statement, with criss-crossing mathy textural elements that are thoroughly drenched in Mellotron, the vocals not kicking in until almost the three minute mark. “Wave” follows the opener, beginning with 12-string over ‘tron and a nice bass and piano figure leading the way forward, with lap steel adding some Floydian stylisms as it goes. “Well” offers a minute or more of introspective sounds before the 12-string, drums, and bass kick in, followed by the vocals and more keyboards. The album’s shortest track, “Onward,” at just over five minutes, rocks quite nicely, in a way that makes one recall the first side of Mike Rutherford’s Smallcreep's Day. I’m not sure if there’s an over-arching concept to the album, but simply taken at face value, all of the tracks here bring that good feeling of the best symphonic rock of the early 70s.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): 35 Tapes

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