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Flowers Must Die - Kompost album review

Delightfully unhinged Swedes’ bouquet of barbed ire.

Flowers Must Die - Kompost album artwork

Swedish countercultural collective Flowers Must Die’s fourth full-length recalls an age of free-form jazz-informed post-psych kosmische freaking.

While refracting the nascent Hawkwind template through an avant Ornette prism, and then jamming wildly until you inevitably got lost and had to stop was all well and good, but when the black bombers and Double Diamond wore off, you weren’t even left with a serviceable tune to whistle. Progressively speaking, it was dangerously easy to progress right up yourself and entirely fail to satisfy your audience. Kompost has moments when FMD appear to be holding their map upside down (Kalla Till Ovisshet), but as the album unfolds, the band increasingly deliver you to your destination with the reliable efficacy of a black cab. The saxed-up After Gong lives up to its name, Why? matches spiralling flute with Lisa Ekelund’s space whisper vocals (darker and eerier than Gilli’s musky and seductive), while Hej Da contrives to shove Hawkwind’s Space Ritual through phaser, flanger and chemist’s shop. Priceless pop tropes and Ekelund’s embrace of Britfolk clarity edge Don’t You Leave Me toward orthodoxy, before the raging Hey Shut Up enthrals with engaging Can excellence.

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 19 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.