Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Baby Grandmothers 

Baby Grandmothers (Subliminal Sounds)

The popular history of '60s acid rock focuses almost exclusively on Yanks and Brits. But CD reissues over the past 10 years prove that psychedelia originally laid its Day-Glo eggs throughout the entire planet, spawning everything from krautrock and Brazilian Tropicalia to the Japanese underground and Italian prog.

Featuring such bearded heads as Pärson Sound, International Harvester, and Pugh, Scandinavia sprouted one of Gaia's most fertile hippie movements. But unlike their peers, Sweden's Baby Grandmothers didn't add indigenous folk music to its experimental blues-rock. The trio simply dosed and emulated the screaming feedback and heady groove research heard on Hendrix's Electric Ladyland and Cream's Wheels of Fire.

On Baby Grandmothers, a collection of singles and live material recorded between 1967 and '69, the individual musicianship doesn't match that of the group's idols. But the band possesses an efficiency and third-eye life force that Cream's wankery rarely did. On the disc's apex, the 26 minutes of nonstop shredding on the tracks "Bergakungen" and "Being Is More Than Life (2)," guitarist Kenny Håkansson unleashes a violent obsession with Roger the Engineer-era Jeff Beck. The dude electrocutes gnarled belly-dancing licks with mod fuzz. With the aid of his volume knob, Håkansson also transforms unruly white noise into a throbbing minimalism that owes little to the blues.

If you dig "the '60s," but the legends of Monterey have burned you out, pack your bong and crank the Baby Grandmothers' vintage perfection. It sure as hell beats Wolfmother.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of CD Review

More by Justin F. Farrar

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays