Saturday, March 24, 2018

Bättre Lyss- Till den Stäng som brast än att aldrig spänna en Båge (Sommer SOMM041)

Bättre Lyss was a one off project released on a private LP pressing in 1975 in Sweden. It was recorded in 1973-74. It featured ex-LIFE guitarist Anders Nordh. The band was basically a trio of Rolf Hammarlund on vocals and bass, Christer Palmquist on vocals, acoustic guitars, piano and Rolf Johansson on drums.  Anders came in and played guitar as well as some other guests (Ulf, Bo, Knutte). The liner notes say it was recorded on a 2 track machine.  This reissue says it is “master tape sound”, which means they did not have the master tapes. It was probably sourced from a mint copy of the vinyl then.  The 11 songs are all sung in Swedish. Göta Lejon starts things off with a heavy guitar riff with a bit dark feeling to it the way it is played with the bass. Occasionally the organ will appear between verses and later switches to piano as the track slows down. After the next sung part, a flute solo then multiple guitar solos follows for a great ending. Emma is an acoustic track with piano but electric guitar solos. Vidsel-sthlm, Enkel also features some piano and acoustic guitars but is also pretty laid back. A very nice guitar solo on this track when it gets a bit more upbeat. Anna sort of reminds me of Elton John. Sagan om Viggen starts with some Thin Lizzy like harmony guitars but then becomes more traditionally Swedish sounding with a heavy guitar riff and bass line. One of the heavier tracks with a very nice organ solo on this track and dual guitar solos at the end (hear the track below). 

Drömflickan is a short ballad with some beautiful guitar lines and a great vocal. Vapnet brings back a heavier guitar (briefly) before the piano and vocals take the lead before the dual lead harmony guitars. Tredje Riket features some cool guitar, the way he uses the volume knob but this is basically a piano ballad. Ansvaret has a bit different sound production and starts with a guitar solo before the vocals and acoustic guitar kicks in. Short number. Chaú Gaí starts with a short electric solo before the acoustic guitar and vocals kick in. Every now and then a heavy guitar riff kicks in and we get some nice dual guitar parts as well which harmonize nicely with the singing at times. K-E Andersson is the last track and is primarily acoustic guitar and vocals to start and then the band joins in. A happy sing along to end the record with the whole band joining in on the vocals (maybe?).

If you understand Swedish you would get a lot more out of the record for sure. This is an enjoyable rock album from the 70s but it is not psychedelic, that progressive or hard rocking, really. Most of it is pretty laid back with a couple of hard rock tracks.

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