Labyrintens Farver

Written by: BV on 02/05/2015 18:57:33

I’ve been following Danish psych-rockers Fribytterdrømme quite enthusiastically for a while now. They are, in my humble opinion, one of the best underground live bands I have ever encountered and the time has now come for the band to translate those live capabilities into a studio album that can unite their tendencies for hypnotic freak-outs with an accessibility that can broaden their fan-base so as to continue playing a steady stream of what is truly their force – live shows. With “Labyrintens Farver”, Fribytterdrømme take on that challenge on a debut that is as eclectic as it is accessible.

With album opener “De Konstruerede” Fribytterdrømme immediately let go of their connection to earth on this floater of a track which initially relies on floating guitars and front-man Lau Pedersen’s charismatic, highly recognizable vocals. Enhanced by the sheer power of Pedersen’s lyrics, the long-running track never quite grows to a lull and by the time the full band comes barging in and morphs the track into a triumphant wall of sound, you’d essentially want the track to go on for at least a few more minutes. Followed immediately by the highly Hawkwind-reminiscent “Kosmonauten” and its up-tempo, no-frills riff-rock, it is highly evident that Fribytterdrømme have sought to garner a pop-like recognizability without compromising their search for boundaries – both physical and metaphysical.

With “Fem Er Det Magiske Nummer” the band ventures into their longest track on the record. Started off by a single repetitive guitar riff, soon to be supplemented by full instrumentation the track evolves from neo-psychedelic drone-rock into hazy, repetitive beats in the grandest Madchester style, reminiscent of The Stone Roses on “I Am The Resurrection”. The similarities seem to not be entirely coincidental as Pedersen chants ”Jeg er Jesus Kristus” on top of the dense layers of sonic playfulness. Much of the track’s success can be attributed, not only to Felix Corrigan Suneson’s hypnotic drumming, but also to the airy tendencies of the three guitarists, Lau Pedersen, Tor Amdisen and Simon Arendal Jørgensen. Not once during this long-running tracks do the three guitars muddy up the soundscape – which goes a long way of telling just how carefully constructed the soundscape genuinely is.

Throughout what is arguably the album’s catchiest track and an obvious hit, “Himmellegemer”, I am entirely enthralled by something else – the lush organ tones of Tobias Agger Johannessen and the hypnotic, highly catchy bass of Thure Spang Andersson. With lyrics like; ”Jeg tabte stjernerne i din te / Og du fik en endeløs ide / Der svæver over byens neonfilm / Som et iltløst kærtegn, der knuser min tvivl / Og vi vågner op på en bakketop / smeltet sammen i en akavet krop / en menneskelig edderkop.” Fribytterdrømme set out not only to deliver a memorable psych-rock track, but also one with genuinely poetic lyrics – a hard thing to deliver in Danish, as much of it tends to come off toe-cringing; which is luckily not the case with Fribytterdrømme.

Rounded off by “Kviksand”, the band ends the album on a soulful, introverted note in a soundscape carried only by very sparse instrumentation; most notably an acoustic guitar. It’s the only track on the album which doesn’t feature lyrics from Lau Pedersen, instead drawing on tambourine-man Gabriele Amatulli with great success as his lyrics can fully stand the comparison with Pedersen’s. In short, “Labyrintens Farver” is a musically and lyrically impressive album and can easily be identified as the strongest debut album from a Danish band I’ve heard in many, many years. If you’ve ever thought to yourself; ”I quite like that whole psych thing” I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed by “Labyrintens Farver” – although it is quite a lot better when you understand the lyrics.

Download: Kosmonauten, Fem Er Det Magiske Nummer, Kviksand, Himmellegemer
For The Fans Of: Spids Nøgenhat, Steppeulvene, De Underjordiske

Release date 04.05.2015
Tabu Records / Levitation Records

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