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Pocket Size - 2016 - "Vemood"

(52:04, Millhill Productions)


TRACK LIST:                  

1. Vemood 8:42
2. Voodoo Works 5:34
3. Dancing With Dreams 4:36
4. Shaving the Face of the Earth 5:26
5. Volk Und Kraut 7:08
6. Quiet Future 11:48
7. Freddies Exploration 6:50


Peter Pedersen - guitars
Simon Svard - guitars
Leo Lindberg - organ
Lars Ekman - bass
Fredrik Bjorling - drums
Fredrik Olsson - guitars
Kristian Brink - saxophone, flute

Prolusion. Swedish project POCKET SIZE is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Peter Pedersen, a venture that started out back in 2010 and with one single and three full length albums to it's name so far. "Vemood" is the most recent of these, and was released in 2016 through Millhill Productions, which I gather is the band's own imprint.

Analysis. One aspect to note about this album is that it is a live album. All new songs I believe, but captured in a live setting. Another and perhaps minor aspect is that I got the impression that the track list perhaps doesn't quite correspond to the contents. I may have misheard in the in between song speaking of course, but I got the impression that a couple of the tracks appears elsewhere on the album then as listed in the track list. Other than that, this is a fine example of retro-oriented progressive rock. This is a production that has the progressive spirit of the 1970's all over it, in terms of instrumentation, arrangements, mood, sound and atmosphere. As one might note from the album credits, this is also an instrumental affair, and the word improvisational has a place here as well, at least in part, and the CD edition is concluded with a purebred example of this to boot. Bits and pieces of 70's style heavy prog and jazzrock is explored here inside what one might describe as an art rock context. The bass and drums in particular adds jazzy touches here and there, alongside flowing saxophone solo runs, while the guitar adds the occasional subtle heavy prog flavor here and there, but will just as often wander off on a jazz-tinged tangent as well. The classic sound of the Hammond is a presence throughout, and is perhaps the main provider of the retro feel this production has throughout. The flute is used here and there for a wee bit of folky atmospheres as well, and to good effect at that. In general, only some instruments will provide the jazzier touches at the same time, at least as dominant features, and as such this isn't a jazzrock album. As certain detaisl with more of a psychedelic rock orientation have their place inside this totality as well, there are quite a few instances where the jazzier bits and the psychedelic details flow back and forth across the boundaries seperating those two styles of music as well, as they can be strikingly similar in certain circumstances. The strength of this production is thjat Pocket Size is a very good live band, and they maintain mood, tension and interest in an easy and elegant manner throughout. At times with a strong groove as the backbone, on other occasions with instrument details maintaining tension and instrument by way of careful dewtails and interactions. In essence, there aren't really any weak spots as such to be found. A spot on production for those who enjoy this specific type of progressive rock.

Conclusion. Pocket Size is probably what one may describe as an eclectic progressive rock band. They use elements from heavy prog, jazzrock and psychedelic rock as main parts of their instrumental and, possibly, partially improvised, take on what at least some would describe as art rock. A live instrumental album this one, where the band gets to showcase their abilities as a band unit, in a good and captivating manner. A CD well worth to check out if 70's style, eclectic instrumental progressive rock is something that sounds like a good thing to you.

Progmessor: October 28th
The Rating Room

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