DUNGEN: 4 [Kemado]

With its aptly titled fourth album, Dungen has put the stoner-rock community on notice. No longer will the Sabbath-worshipping decibel peddlers have the blighted neighborhood all to themselves. These psychedelic Swedes are moving in and gentrifying things with their beautiful instrumentals full of piano, strings and—what in the name of Tony Iommi?—flute. 4 features understated guitar jams that wouldn’t sound out of place on the Allmans’ At Fillmore East, unhinged drumming that leans more toward hard bop than hard rock and glowing melodies you’ll sing along to even though the lyrics are in Swedish. Dungen’s first three albums were impressive, to be sure. But by keeping the songs a little shorter, and by bandleader Gustav Ejstes not being such a musical ball hog this time around (he’s shifted from playing practically all of the instruments to focusing on piano, giving his bandmates much bigger roles), Dungen has made a record that’s far more sophisticated musically and melodically. It’s not just a vibe; the band has achieved a manna-from-psych-rock-heaven style that’s firmly here and now, even though it sounds like it was recorded in 1971. It’s trippy-go-bananas rock (“Sätt Att Se”), it’s soul-leaning instrumentals (“Fredag”), and it’s mellow pop bliss (“Det Tar Tid”). It’s the future of stoner rock. [www.kemado.com]

—Patrick Berkery

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