It figures that a Swedish band that borrows equally from psychedelia, prog rock and traditional folk would prove the exception to the rule. Normally, when a band is described as having streamlined its sound with the release of a new album, it's said in a complimentary fashion. In the case of Tio Bitar, the fourth album from Stockholm natives Dungen, however, it can only be said with an air of faint disappointment.[more:]
Among the most exciting qualities of 2004's Ta Det Lugnt were its frequent forays into fuzz-guitar freak-outs and caterwauling solos -- elements largely lacking on this outing. This makes the raw, visceral energy of "Intro" a bittersweet pill to swallow, because it's only really matched once, during "Mon Amour's" towering solo. We're offered glimpses, a not-so-subtle tease now and again, but guitarist Reine Fiske is kept on a relatively short leash that prevents him from noodling off into the sunset. What remains is for the most part a tight, orderly marriage of the pastoral and the psychotropic -- plenty precise, but short on soul.
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