Another snorecore masterpiece from Sweden, whose artists seem to have cornered the market on psychedelic folk/pop. The Amazing, a veritable supergroup comprised mostly of members of Dungen is one of the main reasons why some of the best music in the world right now is emanating out of Scandinavia. On first listen, opener “The Kirwan Song” seems to be a tribute to the great Fleetwood Mac guitarist and there is a lushly romantic, Bare Trees vibe to the track, which ends with a lovely, extended guitar solo from Reine Fiske. “Dragon” is an evocative, thousand-yard strare with a memorable, country-flavored melody that sounds like Garcia in a pensive mood. This reflective, meditative mood sweeps across most of the album, dragging the listener on a journey across the frozen borderlines, wandering across open fields blanketed by a glistening snowfall. It begs the listener to cozy up in front of a crackling fire to enjoy its enveloping warmth.
“Beach House” and “The Strangest Thing” sound more like Mark Kozelek than the Red House Painters/Sun Kil Moon leader’s own solo work (I know what records vocalist Christoffer Gunrup has been locked up in his bedroom listening to for the past decade!), while dreamy cinematic soundscapes like “Code II” offer a tip of the dome in the direction of another one of Sweden’s fine psychedelic exports, The Soundtrack of Our Lives. “Deportation Day” is one of many tracks to capture the spirit of CSNY at their peak and “Is It Likely” rolls along with the stoned, Laurel Canyon vibe of Crosby’s If Only I Could Remember My Name’s drug-addled confab. And I haven’t even mentioned the killer psych pop conundrum, “Dead” or the coma-inducing, navel-gazing, 12-minute anthem, “Had To Keep Walking.”
Highly recommended to fans of that early 70’s West Coast vibe, as well as the solo work of Kozelek and Majave 3’s Neil Halstead. In a year full of remarkable debuts, this may be the best and, for once, a band lives up to its haughty moniker. 10/10 -- Jeff Penczak (28 October, 2009)