Les Big Byrd
(They Worshipped Cats)
Progressive rock, Psychedelic rock
Hookworms, Swervedriver, Farflung
#9 ALBUM OF 2014
This album is tight. Not a word often associated with psychedelic music. But Les Big Byrd hailing from Stockholm, Sweden define the word tight. Not to be trivial, but first take a look at the song lengths below. Tight as can be as they know their comfort zone and the consistency in keeping the song lengths tightly within range. They avoid the common characteristic of wandering trippie drifting tunes that often go beyond 10 minutes and instead keep things tight.
The opening track "Indus Waves" will give you a very good flavor of what is to come, a very well produced and balanced album. A brief acoustic opening kicks into steady rhythms along with some great echoed vocals and inspiring synthesizer. Keyboardist Konie is a delight as his retro infusion provide the backbone for this great album. Founders Oakim Ahlund and Frans Johansson are apparently savants of the Swedish underground rock scene, both having backgrounds in different genres from garage rock and electronica. The second track "Tinnitus Aeternum" is a brilliant piece that has terrific punch and a melody that will add splendor to your mood. The swirling steady beat and undercurrent prod onward as you hear an onslaught of psychedelic vocal wonder. The title track, "They Worshipped Cats" an instrumental is a perfect touch as 80's synthesizer where Art of Noise meets Devo and Tangerine Dream. What a well placed and tight interlude ending in the signature swirling guitar-work that defines psychedelia.
Track five, "Just One Time," kicks in with some muffled organ and bursts into a pop excursion drifting with the entertaining and varied vocals. What makes Les Big Byrd special is their ability to tie-in very subtle melodies that take shape very eloquently through diverse repetition (if there could be such a thing). This track also introduces the electronic distorted vocals perfectly placed. This vocal effect has become so annoying in songs today, but they place mid-way through the song in the exact way the distortion technique should be used. Track eight, "1,2,3,4 Morte" pours on a bit more intensity with some caustic synthesizer works that builds into more expansive spacial accompaniment. The underlying bass-line is established from the get go and followed by swirling effects that round-out the acid trip. The last track, "Back to Bagarmossen" is probably our favorite cut off the album. The tight melody wisps us away to a special place. This is probably the most inspirational and heartfelt cut. The guitar-distortion lets loose and freely takes over.
1. Indus Waves (4:54)
2. Tinnitus Ætérnum (4:51)
3. They Worshipped Cats (4:49)
4. Vi Borde Prata Men Det Är För Sent (4:47)
5. Just One Time(4:00)
6. White Week (4:55)
7. War In The Street (4:26)
8. 1,2,3,4 Morte (4:19)
9. Back To Bagarmossen (4:34)
We are fired up to have come across Les Big Byrd. They have a chemistry and tightness not all that common in the psychedelic world. Instead of going off on some wild euphoric tangent to fill space, they exude confidence and dabble in several styles that weave into a very fine album. Without a question, psychedelic fans should pick this album up immediately. Those looking to delve into the genre or expand their collection will also be pleasantly surprised to find such a great album so symmetric and tight! - 6/6/2014
Standout Tracks: Back To Bagarmossen, Tinnitus Ætérnum