Quality: 4.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 5 out of 5
A fellow sent me this a few months ago saying that it was the most psychedelic, mind-blowing thing he'd ever heard. While I'm not sure I'd give it that superlative, Parson Sound is a monolith of an album that certainly ranks in the upper tier of the 'trip-o-meter.' The date on this set is 2002, but the recordings of this certifiably insane Swedish band actually date from 1967-1968, during which time these guys rubbed elbows and picked up some pointers from avant-garde royalty like Terry Riley and Andy Warhol. In fact, a lot of this music does recall the Velvet Underground (which is actually a pretty impressive influence for 1967-68) playing krautrock. Most of the tracks are long form, noisy, psychedelic brain busters that will enjoyably test your endurance.
The slightly misnamed "10 Minutes" (it runs 10:30) introduces the band basic sound well, moving from an in your face acid rock and viola barnstormer to a more jazzy Canterbury-like vibe. To really test your mettle, though, head for the 20 minutes of full voltage insanity on "From Tunis to India in Fullmoon (On Testosterone)" or the 30 minutes of acid rockin' blues on "Skrubba." I'm sure Acid Mothers Temple has this hanging around somewhere in their record collection. This is a full blown experimental rock album, and there are some nice deviations from the seemingly endless sonic storm. "A Glimpse Inside the Glyptotec 66" is a cool, tape manipulated track of guitar feedback and maybe some viola - it certainly beats Brian Eno and Robert Fripp's collaborations to the punch. These a fun flute and percussion piece with "On How to Live," and "Blaslaten" goes full Terry Riley style, with of bunch of blaring woodwinds playing cyclic, interweaving parts.
This album really does require a lot of your attention, but it's very rewarding for those who dare to tread upon this sonic ground. It's really unfortunate that it took more than thirty years for this stuff to see the light of day - it would have been amazingly groundbreaking at the time. But at least we've got an awesome psychedelic confection for the ear of the modern listener.
*Hmmm... after taking a look a the All Music Guide, it seems that we're hearing a lot of cello - not viola. That's kind of embarrassing since I actually am a cellist.