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Sweet Smoke - Darkness To Light CD (album) cover

DARKNESS TO LIGHT

Sweet Smoke

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.09 | 45 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars After a totally groovylicious debut album that to my surprise I found to be a whole lotta fun, SWEET SMOKE officially disbanded not really taking their efforts too seriously despite there being a lot of interest in their stylistic approach. These guys were true flower children of the 60s and went as far as moving to Germany to form a commune near the city of Emmerich near the Dutch border. After disbanding the group decided to drive all the way to India to find a spiritual guru and also spent considerable time volunteering at a refugee camp helping casualties from Bangladesh's independence movement. It wasn't until they met some German tourists who told them of the success of "Just A Poke" that the band finally realized that they might have a chance in the crowded musical world of early 70s. They returned to Europe and recorded their second album DARKNESS TO LIGHT. The band took on extra two musicians adding violin, cello and piano to their previous bass, guitar, drums, sax and recorder sound.

Right away this album sounds different from the debut. The band clearly spent time practicing when they were out and about on their journeys. The musicianship is a whole lot tighter and more serious this time around. The Indian experience has clearly left its impression most obviously on "Kundalini" musically, which in a way sounds like a good mix of their old hippie style and a good old traditional Indian campfire song if such a thing exists! This album is a bit eclectic as the songs don't sound much alike for the most part. Many say that is the weakness, but for me a plus. Despite them feeling a little disjointed, individually I find the majority melodically pleasing and musically interesting. This is still very much feel good music but there is also some seriousness in the sarcasm as in "Show Me The Way To The War." The first couple of tracks are very folky in an American style but the music has eclectic moments where different moods and sounds burst in at unexpected moments. Perhaps not a perfect album but it is one that to my surprise I actually like quite a bit. Something about this band hits a note with me unlike any other. The title track is also a fine lengthy proggy jam that evolves the sound from the first album. This band just has a special energy about them and there is a lighthearted approach to the music of SWEET SMOKE that appeals to me with an underlying darker side.

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT is available remastered with the debut album on a single CD. Groovy music that is highly recommended for lovers of progressively leaning jamming sessions that throw in interesting twists and turns.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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