Thursday, October 5, 2017

RENHJÄRTA – Glitt-glitt (California, 1971)

International relevance: ***
Instrumental, Swedish vocals

An exceedingly rare album on Imperial Record subsidiary Californa, with eye-catching cover art by Tage Åsén. Uppsala's Renhjärta featured future members of Panta Rei (bassist Cary Wihlma) and Arbete & Fritid and Ramlösa Kvällar (sax player Ulf Wallander). Only four tracks feature vocals, leaving the lion's share of the album instrumental.

An undeniably competent piece of work straddling the line between blues rock and prog, it does suffer from an insufficient, unnecessarily understated production. The dry and flat sound affects Tjompe Johansson's drums in particular, making them sound cardboardy and intrusive instead of powerful and propulsive. The mix in general is on the unbalanced side, subsequently making the album sound oddly buried and bereft of its potential impact imposed by the crafty guitar work of Stenne Moberg and singer Lasse Hoflund, and Cary Wihlma's bouncy bass.

From a strictly musical standpoint, the vocals are the albums weakest link; adequate but a bit dull, why the vocal tracks – including a cover of Traffic's ”Medicated Goo”, the Dave Edmunds sounding ”Blue Monday”, the pedestrian ”My Friend” and the boring ”Leaving Blues” – further emphasize the feeling of ”Glitt-glitt” being an unfulfilled promise.

Medicated GooMy Friend

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