Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Fastball Music, 2020)

Karakter: 4.5/6

FLYING CIRCUS 1968 album cover.jpgThe German outfit Flying Circus is an interesting one and has released a number of critically acclaimed records in the past that merge progressive rock and bombastic hard rock to great effect. Luckily, this latest endeavor of theirs evocatively entitled “1968” is no different and is a warm and entertaining slab of otherworldly rock with touches of psychedelia and avantgarde to it.

There is a red thread coursing through it all and despite the somewhat challenging nature of some of the tunes, they are actually pretty damn catchy and even borderline infectious at times. This is perfectly exemplified by the opening track, “Paris”, where there is a strangely funky vibe in play and yet it sounds like Fairport Convention and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown tripping on some hitherto unknown substance that causes extremely surreal trips to the odd corners of the mind. Intrigued? Well, you should be. You get raunchy riffs and splendid vocal melodies with grit to them on the one hand and some musically interesting experiments on the other that add color and a sense of the unpredictable to the proceedings. Another stellar tune is “New York” – in large part due to the great vocals – and this one nicely illustrates that it is in fact possible to make a tasty cocktail consisting of memorable hard rock, early Pink Floyd-esque prog vibes, and a solid dose of weird textures that will make you believe that you are actually floating in space. The lyrics all revolve around historic events in cities such as Memphis, Vienna, and Berlin (just to list a few examples). Not every composition is flawless and some of the more left-field ideas do not always pan out in a satisfying manner, which is merely another way of saying that there are times when the ensemble is sort of plodding along and meandering through the pieces. The low points are the superfluous “Mÿ Lai” and “Vienna”, but the aforementioned “Paris” and “New York” as well as the hazy and melancholic “Prague” are brilliant with the latter arguably being the most adventurous of the bunch. Generally, there are some fabulous pieces to immerse oneself in here and very little filler stuff.

Strange, wonderful, and with an intuitive feel and strong hooks to it, “1968” elegantly weaves a compelling musical web and is a vivid and refreshing listen.


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