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TrettioŚriga Kriget - Seaside Air CD (album) cover

SEASIDE AIR

TrettioŚriga Kriget

 

Crossover Prog

3.46 | 18 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Seaside Air' - Trettio'riga Kriget (58/100)

Trettio'riga Kriget have been releasing albums since 1974. They've been around for almost as long as many of the progressive rock canon's greatest, and 10 albums are evidence to the fact they've spent most of that time actively. I had not heard of these guys until recently; a fixture on lyrics in their native Swedish seems to have limited their exposure abroad. Nonetheless Sweden would have its role to play in the bold Scandinavian prog resurgence in the 1990s, and I can't help but think that Trettio'riga Kriget helped lay the foundations for groups like Anglagard to make their stint.

Listening to Trettio'riga Kriget's classic material makes them out to be a Swedish equivalent to Italy's RPI scene; theatrical, bombastic, and none-too-afraid to boast the tonal qualities of their mother tongue. With that said, it's a little disappointing they've mellowed out so much by the point of Seaside Air. A band that once seemed to channel the neatest parts of bands as diverse as Rush, Focus and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso (and sometimes all at once!) going the way of gentle, prog-flavoured pop is little cause for excitement. Of course, few bands from the golden era are still even around to make music, and most have fallen much farther than these guys.

I don't mean to sound so damning. Trettio'riga Kriget knew what they wanted to do here. It's obviously a different vibe than the heyday, but a style should change with age and experience. Seaside Air is a Summertime album for these Winter months. The cover, title and leisurely tone to the songs sounds like a musical equivalent to sitting by a lakehouse and watching the world go by. Familiar prog sounds (like mellotron) that were used a lifetime ago are here, but the context is all different. Trettio'riga Kriget's songwriting is straightforward. The musicianship is unassuming. The tone is light and friendly. All of these are intentional on TK's part, I'm sure, but for all the authenticity, it can't be said that they're doing much to arrest attention at this point in their career.

To the band's credit, I think it's pretty cool that Seaside Air simultaneously embraces an adult approach to rock, while simultaneously echoing their proggy past. It's a similar feeling to the one I got with Yes's Heaven & Earth record in 2014. However, unlike Yes, who sounded both lazy and desperate in their attempt to rekindle the past, Trettio'riga Kriget allow themselves to comfortably settle into this sound. Where so many of the 70s groups have fallen into disfavour, it feels like these guys have adapted in a way that fits. I'll end with a final note: The music itself is never exciting, but Robert Zima's full-bodied voice has a way of bringing these songs to life. The album's tameness is sure to limit its appeal to the current generation, but let it not be said that Trettio'riga Kriget don't bring the quality where it's due.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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