Let’s begin this review with three letters: WTF. As I launched myself into the Space Rock music of My Brother The Wind, I decided to catch up on their history as a band. The first inkling that something very special was happening came from their biography on Prog Archives (and you thought I didn’t go there for information? Ha!).
Their first release was a 2009 live recording of the band’s DEBUT performance in the tiny Swedish city of Åmål. Why would any band even attempt such bold undertaking? According to their biography, they hardly knew each other at that point. So, it appears these four brave souls went onstage and improvised! WTF!
At this point, the normal response would be, “OK, that’s cool”. But this time they went into the studio and worked on a serious recording, with all the bells and whistles, right? WRONG! According to their current biography, I Wash My Soul in the Stream of Infinity was…
“Recorded in 4 hours on an Ampex MM 1000 16K by Love Tholin at Drop Out Analogue Studio in Åmål during the cold Swedish winter’s night of January 22nd and mixed by the band on January 23rd”
WTF?! STFU! There is no way this amazing representation of Space Rock/ Psychedelia was recorded in four hours on a circa 1970 reel to reel! There are days when I can’t even get one review written in 8 hours on a computer. What if I had to write it longhand? or worse on an old typewriter? Impossible!
Yet here I am, listening and marveling at this brilliant album. There are the excellent bass lines; the sometimes driving, often times transcendent lead guitar riffs; percussion that is perfectly complimentary; and understated keyboards layering soundscapes like brick mason walls. Oh, analog how we miss you!
The first track Fire! Fire jumps right into some great progressions and before I realize it I’ve listened to three full tracks of classic MBTW psychedelic rock. The slow crescendo of the fourth track, Torbjörn Abelli, is worth the cost of the entire album. This song is a worthy tribute song to the late Torbjörn Abelli of prog band Träd, Gräs och Stenar.
The fifth track is called Crimson Skies and it is an atmospheric piece, just like the sky. The percussion drives on while the bass guitar lays the groundwork for the keys and rolling lead guitar…rolling across the landscape of rhythm and percussion. It is during movements such as these that I regret quitting marijuana.
I know bands who take four years to record an album. Four hours to record an entire album of music this great is freaking insane. And this is where my second group of letters takes over from WTF and those letters spell EPIC.
This album is an EPIC cosmic trip by a Swedish band with a really cool mission – to bring back the adventurous, experimental exploration of music that mirrored the freedom/ anti-war movement of the ’60′s.
Because of the superior quality, daring innovation and experimentation, this album is one of the most important releases of 2011- an influential album that may re-shape how bands view their own processes for recording and releasing music. If other bands follow suit, and I am certain after hearing this album many artists will consider the challenge, we could see a faster movement of progressive music leaving the studio and entering the eager ears of the listening public.
Just like the final (title) track begins and ends with the sounds of a flowing stream, My Brother The Wind‘s music flows into the soul of the listener. Inviting awe and wonder- and a sense that there is a musical Nirvana on the horizon. My Brother The Wind will carry you there. Wash your soul in the stream of their infinity.
MBTW is: Nicklas Barker – Electric guitar, Acoustic 12 string guitar, Mellotron
Mathias Danielsson – lectric guitar & Electric sitar
Ronny Eriksson – Bass & Hammond organ
Tomas Eriksson – Drums