Vintage Prog - The Best of SF
Review by Josh Turner
Being an avid fan of the latest progressive rock, I'm torn between the classic sounds from the seventies and releases just starting to surface. Back in the day when technology was young, progressive musicians had innovative ideas and clever new instruments. Unfortunately, they didn't have the production to back these ambitions. Music sounded tinny and tiny. Through the decades this gave way to bombastic and big music in the mainstream. Progressive rock was left in the lurch, but slowly worked its way back to the forefront of a niche market. Fans like me have gone back to the original lairs and pilfered them for anything of value. In the end, we're mostly waiting on pins and needles for new releases to satisfy our hunger. The latest offerings take more of a bend on pop or metal and few bands stay true to their roots. The Flower Kings, Kaipa, Karmakanic, and The Tangent are rare exceptions while supergroups like Transatlantic are already in the history books. Bands actually "from" the seventies like Yes and King Crimson come in limited quantities.
Returning to the present, Tomas Bodin has accomplished an uncommon feat. He has put together his very own progressive version of Spinal Tap, which he calls Swedish Family. Tomas uses authentic instruments and the sounds are purely magical. This will satisfy fans of both classic and modern progressive rock. It is the best of both eras and the instrumentals are out of this world. Tomas is the Indiana Jones of progressive rock. He uncovers artifacts from yesteryears and conjures up ghosts from the past. The music is adventurous in the way of The Flower Kings and Flying Food Circus. The production is so good nobody should really fall for the claim that this is anything vintage. Fans of progressive rock will surely be satisfied by this project. It may not be vintage. It may not be part of your family. Still, there is no question Swedish Family's debut is good old-fashioned Swedish prog. To order your copy, feel free to contact Tomas directly: email@example.com.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.