Ask many self-styled music aficionados, and they’ll tell you that rock in the early to mid ‘70s descended into a mire of boundless self-indulgence and instrumental virtuosity. Not so in Sweden. For there, the egalitarian spirit that many thought revolutionary to punks in the UK was nothing new for the heads to be found enjoying the cult Swedish psychedelia of bandslike Träd, Gräs och Stenar or Älgarnas Trädgård.
It’s exactly this lineage forty plus years later where one can find Flowers Must Die, the six-piece Swedish outfit whose ‘Kompost’ - their full-length debut on Rocket Recordings, home of Goat and Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation - is a landmark moment for an outfit pursuing an improvisation based approach removed from the codified realm of contemporary psych, and exploring uncanny and unhinged territory fuelled by diverse record collections yet unique to their own collective headspace.
The band may have taken their name originally from an Ash Ra Tempel song, whilst both the strains of Amon Düül II and the repetition of Can lurk within these overgrown sonic pathways. Yet ‘Kompost’ shows them honing their improvisatory excursions into coherent songcraft amidst spectral techno and cosmic disco shapes, as the angular post-punk pop of The Sugarcubes sits alongside the narcotic clangour of prime Royal Trux, and one-take spontaneity locks horns with nocturnal revelation.
Here the outward-looking spirit of 1971 and the anything-goes mentality of the Scandinavian freaks of yore is transposed elegantly to a modern era in need of new horizons, and in a manner refreshingly bereft of retro chic. What’s more, who’s to say what dimensions this alchemical force have yet to explore.