Fresh Garbage Rarities 1969 77 (Hol)


aec.imt6106820.2 11/15/00 New
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    Fresh Garbage Rarities 1969 77 (Hol) Love Records

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Review Text Given that it is a compilation of rarities and live performances, this double-CD retrospective is not the best starting place for those interested in the back catalog of Wigwam. It is, however, an excellent addition to those already initiated. Wigwam was one of the key players of the Finnish progressive rock scene in the late '60s and early '70s, and an instrumental group in establishing English-language rock music as a viable alternative for Finnish bands. Its ability to work clever pop melodies into their complex and innovative albums should have resulted in a much larger scale success than they achieved, but their attempts at breaking into the British market through a contract with Virgin failed, and as a result they're not well known outside Finnish borders. This retrospective CD opens with their first single release "Must Be the Devil"/"Greasy Kid's Stuff" from 1969, which still shows the blues origins of the band, but when "Luulosairas" (Hypochondriac) kicks in with its chunky organ, we're safely in Wigwam territory. Switching between either keyboard/organ centered sound to expressive guitar work, the band manages an impressive range within each CD. What wasn't always obvious from the studio releases is how powerful the band could be -- songs like their cover of the Band's "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" and their own "Captain Supernatural" are muscular and driving thanks to the nimble percussion from Ronnie Österberg. Vocal and composing duties mainly alternate between keyboardists Jukka Gustavson and British ex-pat Jim Pembroke, though bassists Mats Hulden and Pekka Pohjola as well as later period guitarist Pekka Rechardt pitch in. Gustavson's material has a raw progressive edge, while Pembroke composes the most accessible material whilst still retaining an exploratory attitude. A good example of the former is the 14-minute "Fairyport," which holds interest throughout, but also illustrates why it was sometimes difficult for the band to perform Gustavson's complex material in a live setting. Pembroke's songs and song cycles nevertheless are so impeccably crafted that it's difficult to complain; "Just My Situation/Sweet Marie" or "A Better Hold (And a Little View)" are some of the finest pop compositions never heard outside Finland. A comprehensive chronicle of the band and its various stages is presented in the accompanying booklet. Unfortunately, the CD set doesn't contain any material from their 1975 album Nuclear Nightclub (as there were no technically satisfactory recordings available) but regardless the set gives a fine overview of what the band could accomplish in a live situation. For fans it's an essential compilation -- everybody else should start by acquiring copies of Tombstone Valentine, Being, and Nuclear Nightclub to gauge the talent and variety Wigwam was capable of. ~ JT Lindroos

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Must Be the Devil - 4:25
  2. 2. Greasy Kids' Stuff - 3:58
  3. 3. Luulosairas - 4:07
  4. 4. Pedagogi - 3:28
  5. 5. Häätö - 4:08
  6. 6. Chest Fever - 6:52
  7. 7. Fresh Garbage - 6:36
  8. 8. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) - 3:57
  9. 9. Losing Hold - 7:36
  10. 10. Nothing Shows - 2:51
  11. 11. Captain Supernatural - 4:49
  12. 12. Imagine - 4:42
  13. 13. Nipistys - 8:06
  14. 14. Marvelry Skimmer (Friend from the Fields) - 4:35
  15. 15. Fairyport - 14:46
  16. 16. Do the Pigworm - 10:30
  17. 17. Just My Situation/Sweet Marie - 9:17
  18. 18. Better Hold (And a Little View) - 4:52
  19. 19. Never Turn You In - 7:46
  20. 20. No New Games - 7:39
  21. 21. Tramdriver - 4:48
  22. 22. Wardance - 4:42
  23. 23. No New Games/Grass for Blades - 18:15
  24. 24. In and Out - 8:00
  25. 25. Looking for the Eddie and the Boys (Jam Session) - 8:54

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