What's Hidden There
02. The Mug (4:50)
03. Please Bend (4:47)
04. What's Hidden There? (4:06)
05. Did You Find It? (2:08)
06. What Now You People Standing By (7:58)
07. Give Me Some Gas (5:12)
08. My Dummy (4:15)
09. Finido (3:44)
- Birgit Hrafnsson / electric & acoustic guitars, back vocals (2 & 4)
- Gunnar Hermannsson / bass guitar, back vocals (2)
- Sigurdur Karlsson / drums & percussion
- Petur Kristjansson / lead vocals
- Sigurdur Johnsson / piano & Moog, violin, flute, vocals (2 & 6)
Hailing from Iceland, SVANFRIDUR were a four-piece who in the summer of 1972 recorded a single album, titled "What's Hidden There?". The album, recorded in London and released at the time only in a few dozen copies, can be considered one of the most interesting examples of heavy progressive rock mixed with influences from local folk music. SVANFRIDUR's compositions feature complex vocal harmonies and an original, inventive use of violin and Moog synthesizers, courtesy of guest musician and arranger Sigurdur Johnsson.
One year of life and a collectable album was what this Icelandict act left behind.Svanfridur were formed in 1972 by ex-Náttúra singer/keyboardist Petur Wigelund Kristjansson, guitarist Birgir Hrafnsson, bassist Gunnar Hermannsson and drummer Sigurdur Karlsson.They toured around Iceland for numerous live shows, including also two trips to the Faroe Islands, but they were unable to get a contract on a proper label.Still they travelled to London and record their only album ''What's hidden there?'' at the Majestic Studios.The album was pressed there, but released only in Iceland in late-72'.
Swirling around as a rare Psych/Prog release, this is actually a Hippy/Psychedelic Rock album sung in English with minor progressive touches and a pretty versatile sound.They were heavily influenced by British Psych Rock and their sound was more into a late-60's mood than into a reputed progressive spirit.Lots of impressive vocals, balanced guitar solos and leads and a steady rhythm section are the elements characterizing most pieces towards a rather melodic and laid-back atmosphere.Some tracks contain a few rural vibes performed on strings and flute, while the use of piano and Moog synthesizer are the only true connections with Prog Rock, pretty limited and not very pronounced to say the truth.Leave any expectations for intricate material aside and the album ends up to be a trully enjoyable listening with memorable parts and occasional instrumental flashes with jazzy, bluesy and folky touches.Certain parts with a neurotic synth edge do sound quasi-progressive, but the dominance here is the nice use of guitars, sometimes with a heavier sound, and the clean vocals.
The album sold only a few hundred copies, leading the band to a decision for dissolution in mid-73', even if veteran guitarist Bjorrgvin Gislason (also from Náttúra) appeared to have join them.Kristjansson and Gislason went on to form Pelican and two years later Kristjansson rejoined forces with bassist Gunnar Hermannsson on Paradis.Birgir Hrafnsson and Sigurdur Karlsson formed the Rock band Change.
Very good Psychedelic Rock with discreet signs of proggy textures.Well-played, full of nice melodies but also secure arrangements, propably a great addition for fans of the style.Recommended anyway.