Monday, October 2, 2017

ARBETETS SÖNER & DÖTTRAR - Arbetets Söner & Döttrar (Oktober, 1972) // OPPONER - Gårdslåtar (Opponer, 1974) // LÖPANDE BANDET - Nån gång måste man landa... (MNW, 1975)

 ARBETETS SÖNER & DÖTTRAR – Arbetets Söner & Döttrar (Oktober, 1972)
International relevance: *
Swedish vocals

OPPONER – Gårdslåtar (Opponer, 1974)
International relevance: **
Swedish vocals

LÖPANDE BANDET – Nån gång måste man landa... (MNW, 1975)
International relevance: **
Swedish vocals

Plenty of people were affiliated with Arbetets Söner & Döttrar at one point or another, including the omnipresent Kjell Westling (Blå Tåget, Arbete & Fritid, Låt & Trall, Spjärnsvallet, Vargavinter and many more) and Greg FitzPatrick (Atlantic Ocean, Handgjort, Tillsammans, Samla Mammas Manna etc), and Bosse Hansson which may or may not be the Bo Hansson of ”Sagan om ringen” fame. This undeniable make Arbetets Söner & Döttrar look interesting, but don't be fooled by the names – the label on their self-titled album is a lot more informative as to how the music actually sounds. Like all albums released by Oktober (run by SKP, The Communist Party of Sweden), it's standard fare political pamphlet progg through and through, with a few folk folk influences and even fewer rock influences. Although fringe Stalinists Knutna Nävar's political stance is less than appetizing, they made a much better point musically speaking with ”De svarta listornas folk” than what Arbetets Söner & Döttrar were ever capable of. ”Arbetets Söner & Döttrar” has very few – if any – musical merits.

Arbetets Söner & Döttrar also appeared on Oktober's 1972 compilation album ”Upp trälar” along with Röda Stjärnan and Västra Söders Sånggrupp before splitting into two factions releasing one album each, Löpande Bandet och Opponer. The latter beat the former to the punch, having their self-released ”Gårdslåtar” out a year before Löpande Bandet wooed MNW into releasing ”Nån gång måste man landa” in 1975.

Opponer continued in the slightly folksier style suggested by Arbetets Söner & Döttrar, but adding a little bit of rock to the mix. ”Lasse Liten och spindeln” sports some prominent psych collector friendly guitars, as does medley ”Jig-A-Reel”, combining two traditional Irish tunes, ”Whelan's Jig” and ”Drowsy Maggie”. However, the folk influence is mainly of the Swedish kind, as evident in ”Trall efter Ylva”, ”Rop”, ”Kays gånglåt” and even the diffusely psychedelic ”Det kan väl hända”. Despite such mildly pleasant folk moves, it's tracks like the inferior ”Bortgjord”, ”Hjältarnas uttåg” and ”Du måste nog bestämma dig” that define the album, leaving behind an aftertaste of communal political brainwashing to add to the semi-religious vibe marring several of the tracks. Regardless, Opponer was a popular live act among the politically like-minded, and ”Gårdslåtar” is still sought after by some, but make no mistake: it's not a great album – at best decent but forgettable, at worst something you wish you could forget. However, it's way better than Löpande Bandet's album...

”Nån gång måste man landa...” is a downright horrendous album of the most moronic pseudo-heavy blues rock imaginable. If the music won't kill you, Lotta Sandberg surely will. She's one of worst ”singers” I've ever heard on a progg album – or on any album for that matter. A former opera singer with obvious Janis Joplin delusions, you wouldn't even want to torture your enemies with her bleating caterwaul. Thankfully, Löpande Bandet split up about a year after their cat killer jamboree of an album was released, setting guitarist Rolf Wikström off to a long and lucrative solo career.

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