Sjef Oellers 14-Aug-2006 First 3 albums

Alrune Rod is a band from Denmark who released about half a dozen albums from the late 60s to the mid 70s. Their first three albums were released on LP on the Sonet label. These three albums have been released on a double CD under the name Sonet Årene 1969-1972. The CD also includes an early single added as a bonus. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1969. It features five tracks, of which four tracks are between 10 and 13 minutes in length. On this album they sound somewhat similar to The Vanilla Fudge, and during the spacier, more psychedelic parts, early Pink Floyd is a reference point. After repeated listens I still can't get excited about their debut album. There are a handful of good instrumental breaks, but mostly the music does doesn't come off the ground at all resulting in rather anemic psychedelic progressive. I get the impression that they might have been better off if they had condensed their musical ideas in shorter songs, as their long compositions often lack the critical minimum amount of good ideas to be interesting all the way through. Overall, a quite disappointing album.

Their second album Hey Du features three long tracks. The 21 minute "Perlesøen" proves to be the most convincing track on the album. It is a fairly interesting mixture of psychedelic music (early Pink Floyd), dark organ-based progressive (Ache) and space rock (early Hawkwind). The vocals could have been better though. The shortest track, "Du taler og si'r" (still at 8 min.), is fairly straightforward, typical early 70s rock with only a few interesting breaks. The title track is more engaging. The music is a slightly improved continuation of the style on the first album. Again the composition as a whole is not completely convincing, but the track has a pretty good energetic section with some wild drumming and nice guitar-organ clashes. Definitely an improvement over their first album, but still pretty average overall.

The title of the third album, Alrune Rock, would prove to be an indication for a more accessible and rocking style of music. It is a livelier, less dark album mostly consisting of "proggy" mid-tempo rock songs, which are actually fairly good. Significantly, electric and acoustic guitar are mostly in the forefront on this album at the expense of the keyboards. The music is not directly comparable to another band, but there are some elements that recall Old Man and the Sea, Aunt Mary and Quicksilver Messenger Service (some of the guitar playing). Like on the previous albums, the vocals are a bit odd in the sense that they vary from pretty lousy to quite good. Alrune Rock is a decent album, but still nothing out of the ordinary.

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