After listening to ‘Look, No Hands’ from the Swedish progressive rock ensemble Pingvinorkestern (Penguin Orchestra) I’m still at a loss for words. At times quite gloriously mad and at times utterly magnificent progressive rock born from imagination and intuition, this album is a wonderful collection of tracks that enthralls, amazes and amuses all at the same time.
Following on from the debut release ‘Push’, this new album calls on glockenspiel, jews harp, sledgehammer (yep,you read that right), xylophones and horns to create songs derived from pure sadness and happiness, all created for the bands own pleasure.
Seemingly recorded haphazardly as friends called round to drink coffee contribute french horn, bassoon, Krankvartetten (nope, me neither) and vocals (Walk Slowly), ‘Look, No Hands’ is a collection of tracks that could be, on face value, completely disparate. However, listen to the album in one sitting and you will go through the whole gamut of emotions from complete bewilderment through despair to utter joy.
I laughed, I cried and I experienced highs and lows and, just so you can save the experience for yourself, I am not going to do a dissection of each track. All I will say is that after initially thinking this collection of superb musicians were madder than any box of frogs or badgers you could ever find, I really think that the joke could be on us.
One of the most surprising, original and fulfilling releases I’ve heard in quite a while. Do yourselves a big favour, buy it, find yourself a dark room, put on your headphones, have a large glass of your favourite tipple and just enjoy…
Released 29th August 2017