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Fig Leaf: Fearless (CD, 64:50); Fig Leaf Music FLMCD04 This Norwegian band knows out to rock, to prog rock, to dig deep into classic rock roots, and bring out a strange blend of dreams. You hear that late 60s, hippie-flower-power groove but with more crunch and overdrive. Strains of sax and warbling keys say early Traffic but bass and guitars style also say King Crimson. Flute and stream-of-thought vocals recall Eric Burdon and the Animals. Angst-ridden, dark vocal passages remind me a lot of Discipline. Song flow and sudden changes say Blue Oyster Cult in places. Confused yet? There's more. The monster size title track, "Fearless" runs a full 31:00! This eight part cut, alone, is worthy getting the album. It reminds me of what the Who did with Tommy or Quadrophenia. It is a curious tour de force piece that pulls you in and tells a tale that you'll never figure out what they're singing about, kinda like Discipline's Unfolded Like Staircase is so enigmatic. It is so very 70s, this extended musical pilgrimage into Fig Leaf's " . . . secret place . . . " of the soul. If you like your nostalgia mixed with new blood and brutally fresh visions -- check out Fig Leaf. Aag Skar is guitar, Per Flaa is bass/vocals, Paal Iversen does drums/perc., and Gunnar Berg rounds it all out on keys/guitar/sax/flute and vocals. They do sing in English. ~ John W. Patterson
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