Hedvig Mollestad Trio: All Of Them Witches (Rune Grammofon, 2013)

May 7, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Hedvig Mollestad Trio: All Of Them Witches

Hedvig Mollestad Trio: All Of Them Witches

Avant prog-rock, with a meaty, weighty classic rock sound, but enough hairpin turns and timesig trickery to thoroughly confuse your average classic rock fan. Strictly guitar/bass/drums recorded live, so it’s pretty minimal in that regard, but the musicianship is tight and they go off in a few different directions with each track. Opener “Sing, Goddess” alternates between lumbering rhythms, swinging boogie-rock and smoldering guitar solos, all with complex time signatures. “The Rex” has a heavy groove with a layer of unsettling electric guitar feedback on top, at least until the breakdown. “Lake Acid” has carefully measured yet free-spirited guitar soloing over a thick bass groove. “Achilles” is a step down-tempo, but by no means weak compared to the previous tracks, with lovely guitar lines over nice jazzy bass (a big, possibly upright sound, definitely not like rock bass guitar). “The New Judas” is a fast, thundering riff-monster, and then “Code Of Hammurabi” sludges things down a bit, although it gets a bit prog-twitchy during the closing minute or two. “Indian Driving” starts out sounding like a convoluted funk song, but quickly unravels to fractured riffs and spazzy drum soloing. “Shawshank” is a short, unassuming interlude, and “Ghrá Rúnda” continues the mood a bit with some subdued feedback-heavy yet delicate guitar. “Kathmandu” ends the album with more heavy riffery and lumbering groove, but also more jazzy bass during the breakdown.

As with most releases on Rune Grammofon (or Cuneiform for that matter), it can be hard to tell whether to file this under rock, jazz, or avant-garde, and different music directors or DJs might argue that it should be filed as one and not another. We at WCBN are filing the recent batch of RG releases under rock, as they all seem a lot closer to prog-rock than jazz, especially given the classic rock riffery on display here.

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