Pocket Size - Exposed Undercurrents. 2014 Sweden
CD issue: 2014 MillHill
Contemporary 2014 Sweden is loaded - and I mean loaded - with rock bands emulating the sounds of the early 1970s. Most are of the US/UK hard rock variety, or they go for that "turn the amps to 11" stoner pseudo-metal sound. There are fewer bands that are making a try for the true progressive rock era sound of the early 70s era. I don't mean the all-in-proggy-prog Anglagard type either, but rather the more common sound of the day coming from Sweden like November, Saga, Flasket Brinner, and Trettioariga Kriget. There's a real psychedelic element to Pocket Size's sound as well, and that can only be considered a plus to the UTR's world.
The band themselves seem to possess a confused identity. In effect, the group is the vision of guitarist Peter Pedersen. Depending on which site you are reading (including their own), you're likely to see the band listed as Pocket Size, Pocket Size Sthlm, or Pocket Size Stockholm. No matter, as what's most important is that Pedersen brings in no less than 9 participants for his creative work. So this isn't a solo work with a monolithic viewpoint - or worse - a sterile digital sound. Not even close. What you get here is exactly what you would expect from a studio effort circa 1972, complete with all the requisite analog instruments and a certain je ne sais quoi attitude. Hammond organ, saxophone, electric guitar with a multitude of effects, spacey vocals (much of it in glorious Swedish), theremin, vibraphone, and flute give one an idea of what to expect. Put that together with a planned structure and a few melodies, a handful of complicated breaks, and some solo sections. This was the way music was presented years ago, when the last thought on Earth was obtaining a radio hit or falling in line with whatever scene a band was perceived to be associated with. A knowledge of jazz, classical, blues, and early rock and roll was all that was needed - and a strange desire to actually progress from there. Give me more of this.