The intriguing Norwegian band, THE BRIMSTONE SOLAR RADIATION BAND almost defies description. The band infuses elements of retro 60s’ psychedelia ( BLUE CHEER, 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS, THE CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND, LOVE), San Francisco groups (JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, GRATEFUL DEAD, QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE, SANTANA), southern rockers (THE ALLMAN BROTHERS), Mellotron drenched early British progressive rock (KING CRIMSON, GENESIS), later period BEATLES, art rock (ROXY MUSIC), and current alternative rockers (ARTIC MONKEYS, XTC, SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES, MOTORPSYCHO, and BIG ELF).
That’s quite a sound pallet to work with … a true smorgasbord.
And “Smorgasbord” just happens to be the title of their third studio release.
Four years have lapsed since their 2005 release “Solstice” and fans should find “Smorgasbord” well worth the wait.
The band inexplicitly tries to downplay any retro 60s’/70s’ comparisons in their Press Release as “just plain silly” – for fear of being tagged with the “stuck in the past” label - but the sound is unmistakable, and in my opinion no apologies are necessary. This is a fantastic album, a unique melding of the past with the present.
It’s impossible for a Baby Boomer like myself to listen to a track like “Crazy Rainbow” and not be nostalgically transported back to a High School sock hop where the reverberations of the latest 45 RPM record from THE 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS, THE BOX TOPS, THE AMBOY DUKES, or STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK crackles from the speaker of an amplified recorder player. Sitar, vintage Farfisa organ, driving BOBBY FULLER FOUR style drums and rhythm guitar … come on boys … you’ve captured the very essence of what music in the 60s’ was all about. I know … I was there!
A while back I had the opportunity to review the latest CD from Swedish prog/rockers RITUAL, “The Hemulic Voluntary Band”, and although the musical style of RITUAL leans much more heavily towards tradition progressive rock, there are quite a few similarities to their approach. Both seemed to embrace the 60s’ psychedelic sensibilities as a starting off point. RITUAL tackled a song harkening back to the polished 60s’ British pop artists THE HOLLIES, while THE BRIMSTONE SOLAR RADIATION BAND expands the gritty spirit of the obscure ‘one hit wonder’ psychedelic garage bands you’ll find on the popular ‘Nuggets Collection’ from Rhino Records, creating their own take on 21st Century Psychedelia.
The band consists of members Rolf Edvardsen (vocals, guitars), Øyvind Grønner (keyboards, guitar), Truls ‘Biff’ Eriksen (bass), Thomas Grønner (drums), and Erling Juvik (guitar).
The CD is comprised of 12 energetic infectious tunes; highlights include: “Crazy Rainbow”, “The Great Yeah”, “I Don’t Mind”, “Sanctimonious High”, “Animal Riot Hill”, and “Hill Of Beans”. In all honesty there is not a bad track among them- some just stand out a bit more than others. Highly Recommended – 9 out of 10 Rating
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on November 25th, 2009