MADE IN SWEDEN – Snakes In A Hole

This album was reviewed a while back by Kev, who did not seem that overly impressed by it, although I think it is not quite as bad as he painted it. The band do in fact come from Sweden, and were one of the first exponents of progressive rock to emerge from the country. This is their second album, issued in 1969, and followed on from their debut of the previous year which included a number of instrumentals and covers. For this album the tracks were longer and more blues influenced, with the title track also including a jazz-rock coda (an indication that leader Georg Wadenius would later join Blood Sweat And Tears). They do a tasteful jazzy instrumental version of ‘Lay Lady Lay’, but their own stuff does tend to be let down by the vocals. ‘Discotheque People’ has a droning verse and pretty basic chorus, even though the playing itself is not bad, while things do pick up for the rocking ‘Give Me Whiskey’ and the jazzy guitar stylings of ‘Kristallen Den Grimma’. Overall I would agree with Kev that this is no undiscovered classic, but Wadenius is undoubtedly a talented guitarist, and the jazz influences do take the music to a higher level than your basic heavy progressive band, making for a flawed but interesting listen.