Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Flower Kings


Review by Josh Turner

How can this be strictly improvisational jams? It's not possible. We all know their studio releases are the cream of the crop. What this goes to show is that their jams are also a cut above the rest. Even with zero preparation and no proper outline, their compositions still manage to have some shape and structure. This is really impressive and should be owned by any fan of the royal gardeners. While the packaging leaves something to desire, this too has a silver lining. By keeping the costs down, more goes into the band's pockets. This in turn helps to finance their future albums. You can't lose either way. In the end, what counts is not what's outside, but what's on the inside. They offer tasty psychedelic jams served on crispy multi-grain toast. The sound quality is pure and fresh as if it was done in a studio.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
The Bridge Fetish
Here they go for a frolic in the forest. Taking different paths, they get lost and found and then lost again. Tomas takes excerpts from actual songs while the rest of the band participates in silly banter. This becomes a reoccurring theme on the songs to follow. While the whole album has its moments, they choose to start with the most interesting track. After only listening to the disc twice, I've returned to this one many times over.
This Is The Night
This petite piece has many familiar Flower King's melodies. It's also a showcase of Roine's grace on the guitar. His instrument wails like that of a poor soul suffering in darkest dreams. While Hasse and Daniel sing a lullaby, Tomas' keyboards provide a cool drink. Thanks to this trio's intervention, the remaining slumber goes on undisturbed.
BetchaWanna (Daytripper)
This is the genius of Roine, Jonas, Tomas, and Zoltan interspersed with that of Lennon and McCartney. The Beatles Daytripper comes in and out of this Miracle Grow mix, yet the fertilizer is a little more than flowery. It seems Roine stumbles into the Daytripper riff purely by mistake. Jonas picks up on this opportunity. Zoltan trails close behind. Before you know it, they are playing these familiar and friendly lines. We get improvisational singing by Hasse early on. Later, we get harmonies from the entire gang on Daytripper's well-known chorus. Second only to The Bridge Fetish, this is another incredible track.
Bellydancers From Hell
Jonas plays his quick and trembling lines from Karmakanic while Zoltan shuffles to the tune of Shaft. As a duo, Jonas and Zoltan are brilliant. When Zoltan is given the room to solo, this young chap shows us why he was chosen by progressive rock's leading band. Complemented by Daniel's percussion, his drumming is nothing short of first-class. This athletic feat convincingly earns this song a place on the podium.
Don't Forget To Flush
By Flower King's standards, this is one short jam. On this accelerated diet, you're feeling trim in no time flat. With all the weight loss, you have no problem squeezing into a pair of a trapeze artist's acrobatic tights. Afterwards, you're taken on series of tense and tricky stunts high above a Swedish circus.
Live from Hamilton Street Café NJ June 30th 2003
The Modal Acid Dance
The bonuses are just as good as the others, but have a different sort of emotion. They both capture a certain energy that seemed to be ever-present at the Hamilton Street Café on this special night. This piece is psychedelic, experimental, and incredibly busy. It's the symphonic successor to a King Crimson cover. This prince among thieves will steal your focus. Robbing from the rich and giving the poor, the time lost goes to a good cause.
Gold Fish In A Bowl Trap
This bonus is far from extraneous. While it's more of the same from the last song, I'm sure that will be fine with any fan. Roine's guitar moans again in madness. He is really fired up about something, and his enthusiasm comes through loud and clear in the music. Taking his majesty's lead, Zolton gives us another one of his zany solos. While the album's outline is nowhere near song-oriented, it does have a ton of marvelous moments. It is interesting to see what surfaces at times. No matter what they try, everything seems to somehow jive. In places, classic riffs are recognized while others are simply one-of-a-kind. Even though it's not a full release, it's relatively essential for any Flower King's fan. It's a worthy investment with a respectable rate of return. Get your copy today and take stock in this unbelievable band.
You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Progressive Rock

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./