When both Varese and Vanilla Fudge are cited as strong influences on a band, you know you are in for something interesting.
And such a notion should have made Rain one of the all-time revered bands of the psychedelic era when they emerged from Norway in the late late 60s. And not only did they kick out the trips like Chick Corea in full Electric Miles regalia sitting in with Saucerful-era Floyd, but the trio of drummer Carl Jørgen Kiønig and multi-instrumentalists Knut Heljar Hagen and Åsmund Feidje knew their way around a melody as well. These Nords had a serious jones for the Beatles. But they did their heroes justice on the music that comprises Norsk Suite, a lost full-length recorded around 1969 or 1970 and beautifully liberated by the folks at Shadoks Music, expanding such Fab gems like "A Day in the Life", "Strawberry Fields Forever" and John Lennon's "Isolation" to sonically inward depths beyond anyone's imagination.
But its the trio's instrumental work on Norsk Suite that really showcases how Rain truly cooked in their heyday, namely the Schifrin-esque car chase funk jam "Whine and Wail" and the 21-minute bonus track "Topha", which sounds like Sun Ra being swallowed up by the Holy Modal Rounders' Moray Eels.
Anyone in search of some classic psych beyond the obvious should look no further than this lost treasure of Scandinavian weirdness.
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