Krokodil - Swamp (1970 swiss, awesome psychedelic/progressive folk-rock - Second Battle edition) Flac

Krokodil was a Swiss band that emerged in the late 60's as a blues-rock band that put progressive touches into their music. They were of German-Swiss extraction with bassist and guitarist Terry Stevens being the only foreigner in the band, coming form England. 

They were regarded as the Swiss version of the Groundhogs due to their first album. However, from their 2nd album Swamp they started to introduce a psychedelic sound to their music, a sound which is very much dominant on Invisible World Revealed. 

This record opens with a sort of stoned/bored monotone vocal track set to a fairly nondescript musical track, not a very auspicious beginning really but a bit misleading. The band quickly improves their sound on the next track "Light of Day" with what sounds like both a piano and organ, plus some sitar, flute, violin and harmonica set to a hazy vocal track (in English no less). Like I said, this one sounds closer to progressive folk than Krautrock as far as I'm concerned. This impression is further strengthened by the easygoing "Sunlight's Beautiful Daughter" with its languid male vocal harmonies, soft harmonica and simple beat. This is actually one of the better tracks on an overall solid album even if it does sound every bit as dated as it actually is.

Same goes for "Tell Me What You Want" which sounds more like a post-Beat late sixties band in transition. Come to think of it, that's probably what these guys were at the time. Not unlike the first couple of Moody Blues albums except for the harmonica.

The next couple of tracks ("Blue Flashing Circle", "Snow White & Blue") have a Byrds-like soft psych folk vibe to them that is endearing even if it isn't very progressive or original. Makes me want to paint a peace sign on my shirt and go pick flowers in the park. Nice stuff but again - very dated.

"Human Bondage" is the longest and most unusual track on the album. I'm reminded of Van Morrison by not only the vocals but also the introspective and 'wizened old sage' tone of the lyrics. The plain piano and quiet semi-falsetto backing vocals also sound like some of the stuff Van Morrison did in the early seventies. The piano and flute dominate musically here, and again I'm having as tough time understanding how this is a Krautrock record.
The CD reissue has three bonus tracks that are a bit rougher than the rest of the album, and also show a stronger blues-rock influence than the original works. These are okay tunes, I just don't quite get why they were included here.

I don't mind saying that this is a very decent progressive folk album from the early seventies. Not a masterpiece for sure, but easily a high three star effort. Recommended to people who like early seventies electric folk bands with just small hints of psychedelic influences.


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