Flower Kings, The - Harvest

Year of Release: 2005
Label: self-released fan club release
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 62:19:00

These guys just don't disappoint. The first song, "Harvest Time," could have easily made it onto an official release. The eighth song, however, is a sample from a band that is soon to surface. Once you've heard it, you'll be drooling to get your hands on their debut.

This is a great present to give those loyal people who graciously tend their gardens. Not to mention, it's probably the best Fan Club CD to date. They only get better with everything they do. They are so productive in their produce; they're overflowing with an abundance of exemplary material.

I'm glad to see they gave this one a name. It's much more than the extra amenity to go along with the fanzine.

Let's take a look at the bounties reaped from their latest cornucopia of cuts:

"Harvest Time" - The vocals are like the satanic verses chanted on "Vampire's View." It reads the passages from the Necronomica, lifting Dracula's curse and sealing his impending doom. The use of ominous inflection is odd, new, and clever. On top of that, they tie in all their typical trademarks and techniques. For that reason, it might not be original enough for an official album. Then again, it's perfect for a fan club submission. The bass chugs along like the motors in a freight train. It oils the axles, bearings, and other moving parts. I guess you could say it's The Real McCoy. Courtesy of the guitar and keys, there are a lot of familiar passages, but it's arranged mostly for this fall's fashion. It struts down the sensational streets of Sonic Boulevard. Tomas on the keys and Jonas on the bass take us on a one-way trip to a tropical paradise of paradoxical pleasure. This is the magic, enchantment, and entanglement that predictably comes from a pinch of their pixie powder. They spare no time getting around to goodies. No need to hoe through any weeds before digging this highlight up.

"Echoes Of Dr. King" - This is free-form jazz and it jingles like loose change in your pocket. It has that trippy turntable beat that reminds me of X-Ecutioners' The Regulators. They cruise down the strip in a fully-loaded Caddy. The X-Men are eager to face-off with Superman, but that battle never happens. Roine plays the guitar in a sweet and lowdown fashion similar to Sean Penn's Emmet Ray. While he plays with eccentricity and swagger, the cymbals are elegantly tapped. They work in many progressive perspectives as they point and shoot from various angles. The famous "I Have A Dream" speech is heard in the background while Mr. Hope bears witness to this monumental event.

"The Crown & The Cross" - This is like King's Prayer, but again there's no voice to be heard in these musical murmurs. While it parades in the spiritual procession, its lips are firmly shut, but it uses body language to express itself as it waves to the pious people.

"Sibirian Train Ride" - Not sure why, but the title has a spelling error. I guess a fan club CD gets a less critical eye when it comes to the editing. In their defense, the musicians of this band probably know more languages then their listeners, so this flaw is surely forgivable. In any case, it's all about the music and I really enjoy this song. The keyboards wail and hum with the kind of choral mantra communed by medieval monks. Even with Zoltan out of the line-up, these folks have no trouble jazzing out. The chord progressions at the end will hit a nerve as they take it up an octave in the outro.

"Brazilian Woman" - Spiked with flecks of gold flakes, this beverage is bursting with feisty flavor. It is laced with cinnamon to give it Spanish tang. Sitting on the stove, there are acoustic guitars, clackers, accordions, and maracas seething in a saucepan. It's embellished with mussels, lobster, saffron, and wine. With every Latin lick, this goulash gets a harbinger of garish garnishment.

"Dexter Frank Jr." - They sway with silky supple jazz in this piece. Willie Nelson, as stated in his cameo Super Bowl commercial, would tell you it's a real smooth move. The pace is slowed in this smoky club and cigar bar. With the lights down low, it mingles among the party guests. Even though happy hour does not go on that long, due to the extremely arid atmosphere, your ears will be burning.

"Memories Of Nykroppa" - As the night grows old, it's time to pack our bags and shuffle out the swinging door. It's cold outside, but a trench coat keeps us warm while covering up the classical nuances. Pachabel's Canon, Ode To Joy, and Brahms Bells are integrated with invigorating jazz. It also harbors the helpful benevolence of St. Elsewhere. The foundation and fabric of these fundamental genres and themes merge together to form one truly amorous amalgamation. Like the previous piece, the beat is molly-coddled and babied. Yet, it has enough heat to simmer the contents in the pot, thoroughly cooking the skewers from their sirloin tips down to their meaty middle.

"Doorway" (by Moonsafari) - This isn't a Flower Kings song at all, but rather a band that Tomas Bodin is tutoring. It seems Tomas, Jonas, and Roine are doing a lot these days. They create so much music on their own; there is no reason why they can't assist others. While Jonas is helping a band by the name of Splinter, Tomas is busy mentoring this talented troupe. Moon Safari* sounds like The Flower Kings and share some of their detail and finesse. This was obviously formed in the same sonic foundry as Tomas' keyboards, so he's definitely keeping it in the family. It's a jungle out there, but this cub will grow to a lion. I can see why Tomas has chosen these skilled players to be his prodigy. It's also obvious why he'd take this opportunity to put them on display. For anyone who has their finger on the button, their soon-to-be-released album would be silly to miss.

"King Of Grief" - This short piece is poignant and to the point. It's exemplifies a Flower Kings tune without getting too overbearing. This complimentary dessert is sure to settle the bill and finally close the deal. It's more likely than not that you'll bring your patronage back. The caterings from this nine-course meal is enough of a reason to join the fan club by itself. That's a real bonus when the added incentive adequately covers the cost of admission. It's like going to the ballgame and walking away with a bobble head.

The purpose of the fan club is to subscribe to their newsletters, but here they throw in floor mats, an oil change, and a car wash. Roine states it's as good as any official release and I must concur. After a year of fruitful yields, this will satisfy the crankiest farmer. You may think you've plowed through all the good progressive produce so far, but believe me; this deserves to be dished out with the next Thanksgiving feast.

* During the course of this band's birth, they had a name change and while credited under a single word, the band now goes by Moon Safari.

Harvest Times / Echoes Of Dr. King / The Crown & The Cross / Siberian Trainride / Brazilian Woman / Dexter Frank Jr. / Memories Of Nykroppa / Doorway (from Moonsafari CD) / King Of Grief

Roine Stolt - guitars, vocals
Tomas Bodin - keyboards
Jonas Reingold - bass
Marcus Liliequist - drums
Hasse Fröberg - vocals, guitar

Roine Stolt - The Flower King (1994/2001/2004)
Back In The World Of Adventures (1995)
Retropolis (1996)
Stardust We Are (1997/2000)
Scanning The Greenhouse (comp) (1998)
Edition Limitée Quebec (1998) (only 700 copies!)
Flower Power (1999)
TFK fanclub disc (2000) (free CD exclusive to fanclub members only)
Alive On Planet Earth (2000)
Space Revolver (2000)
Space Revolver Special Edition (2CD set) (2000)
The Rainmaker (2001)
The Rainmaker - Special Edition (2001)
Unfold The Future (2002)
Live In New York: Official Bootleg (2002)
Fan Club CD 2002 (2002)
Fan Club CD 2004 (2004)
Adam & Eve (2004)
BetchaWannaDanceStoopid (2004)
Harvest (fan club CD) (2005)
Paradox Hotel (2006)
The Road Back Home (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (Special Edition) (2007)
Banks Of Eden (2012)
Roine Stolt's The Flower King - Manifesto Of An Alchemist (2018)
Waiting For Miracles (2019)

Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording (DVD) (2003)
Instant Delivery (DVD) (2006)
Instant Delivery - Limited Edition (2CD/2DVD) (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: December 11th 2005
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website: www.roinestolt.com
Hits: 2009
Language: english


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