zondag 21 november 2010

Alrune Rod - 1974 - 4-Vejs

Alrune Rod 

01- En Morgen
02- Den Samme Mand
03- De Vises Sten
04- Ringene I Sandet
05- Forårsmorgen
06- Skinner
07- Alt Roder
08- Et Menneske

Leif Roden / bass, vocal
Karsten Høst / drums
Mikael Miller / guitar
Ole Poulsen / guitar.

4-vejs ( Four-Ways) is the fifth studio album from legendary Danish psychadelic progressive rock band Alrune Rod ( translates into Mandrake Root in English). I haven´t yet heard Alrune Rod´s 1972 effort Spredt For Vinden ( Scattered by the Wind) which was the predecessor to 4- Vejs so I´m not sure which kind of development has happened between those two albums.
My history with Alrune Rod starts about fifteen years ago in my friends basement. Under heavy influence of mildy mind altering drugs we listened to a lot of sixties and seventies Danish music and at some point one of Alrune Rod´s first two albums would always be placed on the grammophone ( Yes that lucky bastard had the original vinyls) and we would get lost in the dark psychadelic music that graces those for Danish music essential albums. Those albums (Alrune Rod and Hej Du) have always had a special place in my prog heart.
A couple of years ago I bought the CD re-issue Sonet Årene 69-72 where Alrune Rod´s first three albums and their first single with non-album tracks are present on 2 CDs. It´s a highly recommendable compilation for anyone interested in Danish psychadelic progressive rock. I never went further in discovering the rest of Alrune Rod´s discography though until now where I have gotten a hold of 4-Vejs.
The music on 4-Vejs is very different from the dark organ driven psychadelic rock style Alrune Rod are mostly known for. There are eight songs with varying lengths from 2-6 minutes which means that there are non of the 10 minute psychadelic rock songs which was one of their trademarks on the early albums. Instead we´re treated with more ordinarely structured rock songs with very few psychadelic hints. This is not your ordinary rock band though. Alrune Rod is still a bit out of the ordinary and I actually enjoy this album much more than I would have thought possible. There are still some great instrumental parts here and there with both guitar, organ and sax solos albeit a bit more straight than in the early years. I really enjoyed songs like De Vises Sten ( Stones of the Wise) and Forårsmorgen ( Spring Morning).
The musicianship is tight and Leif Roden sings more straight on 4-Vejs than his usual out of tune wailing. All musicians play with great authority but I´ll have to give Karsten Høst on drums a special mention. He is very skilled and his playing is way above the average drummer in this genre. What a great addition to Alrune Rod.
The production is very good too. Clean and pleasant. That drum sound is absolutely awsome.

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