mon 21/08/2017

CD: Hills - Frid | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Hills - Frid

CD: Hills - Frid

Psychedelic Swedes lay down some mind-blowing pagan ritual music

Frid: primal psychedelia

In a way that is reminiscent of fellow Swedes and label mates Goat, Hills play a primal psychedelia that draws from a far broader spectrum of sounds than the usual garage rock and motorik grooves of their British and American fellow travellers. On Frid, their third album, vocals are largely put aside in favour of spaced-out instrumentals or chanting that suggests medieval plainsong fed into an effects box. While the guitar sounds and grooves of Tinariwen and Songhoy Blues rub up against the chemical drone of Spacemen 3 to make some serious pagan ritual music that both moves hips and flips wigs.

“Kollektiv” eases the listener into Hills’ world with an industrial drone that gives way to spacey guitars and a sluggish groove which spins off into eddies of woozy sound and Eastern instrumentation before blowing up into “National Drone”, which comes on like Ravi Shankar jamming with Spacemen 3 over the chanted incantations of half-heard voices. “Milarepa” brings to mind punk-jazzers Selvhenter, another Swedish band, with flute sounds floating above a primitive psychedelic drone. “Anukthal Is Here” and the stretched-out “Och Solen Sänkte Sig Röd” offer more mellow, blissed-out fare with snatches of West African desert blues supported by a pulsating groove. Things wind up with “Death Will Find a Way”, the closest to a traditional song that Frid offers, in the guise of chanted psychedelic plainsong with pagan overtones and an earthy groove. It’s hardly a jaunty ditty but it does bring the album to fitting end.

Hills clearly don’t make tunes that will appeal to all tastes but if deep drone-heavy psychedelia with plenty of twisted and unfamiliar flavours fires you up, Frid really is an intoxicating trip that invites full immersion.

The guitar sounds and grooves of Tinariwen and Songhoy Blues rub up against the chemical drone of Spacemen 3

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters