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Drakh Von Trip - 2005 - "Heart & Consequence"

(60 min, Record Heaven)

TRACK LIST:                             
1.  One Of A Kind 5:59
2.  Autumn 7:13
3.  Anger 5:09
4.  Ode To A Goddess 6:32
5.  Long Distance Call 6:27
6.  Gahn 5:17
7.  Daddy's Dead 5:29
8.  RAMM 3:39
9.  In A World Of trouble 6:59
10. I Want to Tell You 6:51


Twodox - keyboards; percussion
Susann - lead vocals; flutes; violin
Micke - guitars; backing vocals
Mats - guitars 
Ralph - bass
Goran - drums 

Prolusion. Since the band's website is still under construction, I know very little about DRAHK VON TRIP, but what I found sprinkled around the web is that they are a sextet from the southern tip of Sweden. "Heart & Consequence" is the band's first full-length release. However, the fact that they are on Record Heaven / Transubstans tells much, as nearly 100% of what I have heard on the Transubstans label has been in the Retro/Psychedelic Rock.

Analysis. "Heart & Consequence" fits right into the Transubstans stable of artists, as a predominantly Retro/Psychedelic band. The intro of One of a Kind, with its birds chirping, rumbling distant thunder and droning didgeridoo create an interesting, even mysterious opening, which could have gone in any direction musically. The mystery is cleared quickly as the band settles into their truest mode of expression, which is a sort of late 60s, early 70s rock, which features Susann's vocals, accompanied most frequently by guitar, bass and drums. Bands from that time period that were likely influences are A Beautiful Day and Jefferson Airplane. This would have fit right into the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco 35 years ago. These lyrics from the opening track serve as an exclamation point to the style: "Love is, love is a blind fool, My mind is a cesspool, I'd rather be stoned, And from love atoned". Suzann's English is amazingly free of Swedish accent, so much so, that it would be easy to believe this band comes from the UK or US. She truly is the centerpiece of the band, to the extent that this could be a solo album, as no other personality emerges so prominently in the mix. That being said, the guitar work is noticeable on Long Distance Call, which is the midway point of the album. That song is a standout amongst the rest as it is more compositionally compelling and utilizes a broader, more expressive instrumental palette, including violin and acoustic guitar work. The vocals are intersperced with jazz-like guitar riffs. The instrumentalists are quite good throughout the album, but especially shine here. Lyrically, though, this one is extremely repetitious. Pity. RAMM is the one instrumental track on the album, which left me scratching my head, wondering why they chose the title they did, as it seemed to have little to say musically. The last track, I Want to Tell You, is musically rather dreary, though it does employ the eerie, slightly campy, definitely dated sound of the theremin.

Conclusion. Although this is one of the better offerings from Transubstans, I can't recommend it as Progressive Rock in any real sense. The production values of "Heart & Consequence" are quite good, very much benefiting from the current decade. The musicianship is very good and Susann's voice is strong and pleasant, however, compositionally the song are lack memorable melodies. Recommended for lovers of straight-out Retro-Rock Psychedelia.

KW: January 5, 2006

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