Friday, January 16, 2009

Get A Little Taster Here


A Taster For The Big One


Ripped @ a bitchin' 320


The Lotus story began when three musicians met in Frolunda, a suburb to Gothenburg, Sweden. Niklas Börjesson, singer & guitarist with a past in the strangely named band "Papmanam" (which according to some sources means "dog eater" in sanskrit!) met Tomas Modig, bassplayer in another local band, "Overland Stage Riders", ( also former guitarist of the swedish punk-group "P-nissarna"), and Hans Bruhn, whos main instrument actually was keyboards, became drummer over night! They immediately discovered that they spoke the same musical language and decided to form a new band, and named themselves Fruitcake (slang for "lunatic" or "insane person"). The trio dressed in hippieclothes with fruits, filled the stage with inflateable bananas, used smoke machines with fruit smell, and wrote lyrics that in some sense always involved, yes – fruit! None of them thought anyone would take it serious, and people probably didn´t, but somehow the word spread. With this band they got a reputation for being one of the best live-acts around. Fruitcake only released one CD, called "Freaks" (dedicated to all the Fruitcake Freaks who came to their concerts) recorded at Tuff Studios, and appeared on an album with a selection of swedish bands, before the group was dissolved. (A cool detail is that Hans made the first performances with the band playing on an "Octapad" instead of a drumkit! He later bought a Pearl President kit from 1967, which he according to the myth "ritually slaughtered" with a chainsaw on stage while doing his last performance with the band!) The co-operation between Modig & Börjesson continued however, and with a new musical brother – drummer Hans Eriksson ( straight from the band "Plankton")– and new record company, they entered the studio with the "thundertrio" called Lotus. One week(!) later they came out with 16 songs, and in 1997 ten of these were released through Record Heaven on their debut album "Fruitage". All Fruitcake Freaks could now call themselves Lotus Lovers. 1999 the group met Brian Robertson (ex Thin Lizzy and Motörhead) who added his solo guitar to the Lotus version of "Mesmerization Eclipse" for a Captain Beyond tribute CD. While in the studio, they recorded some new Lotus songs as well, and the result can be heard on the CD "A taster for the big one" After this, Lotus went on a tour together with Robbo and finnish rock group "Five Fifteen". It was now that Robbo and Lotus started talking about doing an album together. Lotus went home to Gothenburg, wrote a bunch of new songs and made some preproduction recordings. In springtime 2000 they met with Robbo in a studio in Stockholm, forming themselves as a quartet around this project. Later that summer they released "Quartet Conspiracy", an album that now also has been released in several european countries, as well as the USA.

Album Review - Record Heaven 

As the album-title says, this is ”a taster for the big one”, or in other words the new fullength. It´s almost 30 minutes of new Lotus songs (at least new to me), and a liverecording of one of the songs from their debute album ”Fruitage”...

The first two songs got Brian Robertson of Thin Lizzy fame sitting in, not that Lotus was in dire need of another guitarist, but it adds another level... The first one out is ”Granny Smith & Wesson”, and a good one it is... The musical changes from ”Fruitage” are minimal, it´s sort off a natural continuation... With music as good as this I wouldn´t want any big changes anyway...

”Visionary” sounds a little like a cross between Mahogany Rush and Grand Funk (Railroad)... ”Passion” makes me think of Captain Beyond, allthough the intro is kinda jazzy... the sound on this one is pretty close to the sound of Captain Beyond´s first album (and best, IMHO)... no wonder Lotus (with the aid of Brian Robertson) took part in the Captain Beyond Tribute album earlier this year...

”The Lunatics Fairytale >From The Greenhouse” got a kind of a doom vibe, mostly because of the guitars, there´s also some guitars reminiscient of Love Sculpture (when they were doing classical stuff like Bizet´s Farandole)...

”Lemon Face” is a simple but effective rocker, nice drive in this one... ”Seven Stars” are another heavy rocker, this one got a slight boogiefeel to it... Last song on this MiniCD are a live version of ”Green Power” from the ”Fruitage” album... Another great Lotus release... 

1 - Granny Smith & Wesson
2 - Visionary
3 - Passion
4 - The lunatics fairytale from the greenhouse
5 - Lemon face
 6 - Seven stars
7 - Green Power - Live