Sprachlos Verlag

SPRACH 05: Haunted Trails – ‘Ranger’ C14 $8(World)
Haunted Trails is the artistic alias of Dan Hedlund; postal worker and Pyramido sludge guitarist from Gothenburg. Dan’s solo work has previously appeared on the Utmarken compilation tape “Ett annat Göteborg” and on a great split with Blue Queen (from Bong). Just in time, roughly a year later, the craving elite appreciative of Dan’s talents is served with a cassette tape sequel on Sprachlos. While a mere 14 minutes long, this mini epic collects four “heavy” tracks attesting to the increasingly accomplished music of Haunted Trails. Quality over quantity any day. In a time when narrow minds and listening habits demand music fitted exactly to the confines of certain subterranean music genres it’s certainly refreshing to hear Haunted Trails fall between the cracks. The rough ideas are easy enough to sketch: it’s (drum machine aided) guitar music, it’s (sort of) minimal rock music, it’s not especially noisy (well, most of the time), and at one or two points it gets pretty damn sentimental. But what then? Somewhere you might hear traces of early Skullflower, but it’s transformed into something profoundly less muscular and slightly more twisted. Yet the messy second track on the A side actually does sound like a take on Bower in his bluesy wall-of-guitar mode. Then there’s the ballad. If you’ve got any relation to the Swedish west coast you’d probably say that it sounds like a forgotten Björn Ohlsson demo, and I could agree to that. Perfect Pripps blå music. And the concluding cover of Lee Perry’s “Bird in Hand”? Well, imagine a more psychedelic sounding Danzig getting high on purple drank while trying to do a heartfelt prom tune… Most likely inferno in the form of Jeff Only’s swollen vocal cords awaits you below.  A friend said that “Ranger” sounded like Lust for Youth for grownups. An apt description if the entire Cold Cave collection of Hannes’ were to be replaced with beaten up Träd, Gräs och Stenar albums. But let’s be honest. This has nothing to do with so called wave music – it’s “wave” in the sense of Mount Everest Trio’s “Waves from Albert Ayler”. Take a deep breath and forget that you’ve ever heard of glossy synth reissues and lousy tapes characterised by semi-harsh-ambient textures and PE-leaning vocals that’s rather death industrial in their execution. Most importantly though: forget that you actually hate contemporary lo-fi one-man progressive rock.


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