Like Elephants 1 - The Movements (Crusher Records)
The "art" of review writing (if there is one) is partly about saying something in the first few lines ("the lead") that makes you, the reader, take notice. So let's say The Movements from Sweden are the greatest exponents of psychedelic rock in the world today. Taking notice yet? It's just one person's opinion - but it's true. Read on to find out why.
Over the space of a handful of albums and an EP it's become clear this is a band whose fortunes are worth following. Their latest album "Like Elephants 1" (so called because there's another volume in the can) manages to touch a myriad of bases - folk-rock, acid punk, garage and pop - and cover them so consummately well that the competition just doesn't come close.
There's a deft simplicity to The Movements' sound. Organ is prominent, bits of fuzz guitar jut out and the band switches on The Big Chorus with ease. The songs are well-written (some of them sound like the Doors with the baby fat and poetic excesses trimmed back) and the production is suitably organic and transparent. The songs manage to sound dramatic without being pompous or over-wrought.
Do people listen to whole albums any more? This is what you need to do to appreciate a band like The Movements. Sure, they write songs that stand up on their own, but when it comes to their albums it's far more rewarding to take in the the sum of the parts and enjoy the contrasts, the light and shade. This record has depth - and that's something that evades many other bands these days.
Track 2, "Boogin", shows what makes The Movements truly great. It spans more than seven minutes and it works up into a tight meshing of guitars bouncing off a simple vocal line that's pushed ever upwards by the organ. The instrumental section's the centrepiece and once it's said its piece it almost imperceptibly segues into "Shady Wind", the next song, a sparse and brief postscript. Which in turn leads into "Two Tongues", concise pop with a sinewy guitar figure.
If there's a formula here it's usually involving power and melody in the correct balance. Check the boxes with "All The Lost", which has one of those rise-and-fall lines that defines the song. The title track adds a lilting, elegiac touches, in instrumentation and production, that define many psych bands. "Ingenting Kommer Ur Ingenting" switches the mood to folk-rock with throbbing organ and shuffling drums and guitars.
If you haven't worked it out yet, The Movements are a wonderful band. "Like Elephants 1" is a wonderful album. Recommended without reservation.