Thursday, March 19, 2009

Soundtrack of Our Lives album review

Soundtrack of Our Lives
(Yep Roc)

The Soundtrack of our Lives’ shaggy-haired leader Ebbot Lundberg says his band creates the musical entrance to another dimension; listening to them can be a real head trip. Formed in 1995, the Swedish sextet takes stylistic cues from Arthur Lee & Love, mid-‘60s Stones and Who and early Pink Floyd. They gained a cult following Stateside in 2002 via the acclaimed Behind the Music, delved into harder guitar grooves on Origin Vol. 1, then toured with Oasis and Black Crowes.

Buoyed by a creative streak, TSOOL came up with enough strong material to fill a double album. Not everyone can pull off such an ambitious undertaking (24 tracks in 93 minutes). These Scandinavians do so with ease on sixth effort Communion, about the eternal quest for reality. Revolving around the daily cycle of light and dark, there’s a song for every hour.

Disc 1 kicks off with the spacey, raucous “Babel On,” complete with sitar. Moody, slow-building rocker “Universal Stalker” is propelled by Doors-styled organ. An ethereal “Ego Delusion” features floating keyboard sounds and chiming guitars. The band even goes tribal (crazed “RA 88”) while primary axe man Ian Person channels Exile-period Keith Richards (hedonistic “Thrill Me”) and unleashes a spastic solo (the aptly-titled “Distorted Child”). Lundberg’s elastic voice and stream of consciousness lyrics serve the hard and soft songs well, especially the endearing horn-infused cover of Nick Drake’s “Fly.”

Disc 2 has a more of an acoustic vibe, other psych-rock gems (“Reconnecting the Dots,” “Songs of the Ocean”) and two infectious surefire hits (“Utopia,” “Saturation Wanderers”). Go ahead and share the love.

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