BABY GRANDMOTHERS – Baby Grandmothers

Baby Grandmothers were a Swedish underground band from the late 60’s who actually sound more German than Scandinavian with their long tripped out guitar solos and metronomic rhythms. The tracks on this album were recorded way back in 1967 and 1968, but they have only just been released, and so for many people this is the first time they can actually hear what the hype was about. The band had a huge reputation in their homeland of being a cutting egde live act, with their heavy psyche sound being some years ahead of the rest of the world. ‘Somebody Keeps Calling My Name’ is a good opener, sounding as though it was recorded live (as do most of these tracks, even though only a couple of them actually were), and there is no disputing that the guitar soloing is first rate. The track descends into some spacey feedback and effects towards the end, but on the whole it give you an idea of what the band must have sounded like on stage. ‘Being Is More Than Life’ is a melodic instrumental, with the guitar still sounding utterly distorted, but playing a recognizable melody before veering off into some more inventive soloing. ‘Bergakungen’ is a bit more improvised, and so slightly less successful, being mainly just meandering guitar over a loose rhythm, and for me this is where the album starts to loose pace, with the track continuing relentlessly for over sixteen minutes. This track really is live, as witnessed by the faint applause at the end, and it continues straight into a live version of ‘Being Is More Than Life’, where the melodic sensitivity of the studio version is bludgeoned with a barrage of guitar effects. Twenty minutes later it is still going on, and it is round about here that you realize that those first two tracks are all that you need to hear from the band, as the rest is just stretching those few ideas to breaking point. It is hard to recommend this album, even thought the first two tracks really are worth hearing, but if you want to risk it then at least you have been warned.