The year is 1998. The charts are dominated by boy bands and pop stars. Most rock and roll comes in the style of Brit pop or grunge. In Sweden, six musicians decide now is the perfect time to record and release a 16 track psychedelic, space rock album. As if that weren’t ballsy enough, they also decide to call the album Extended Revelation for the Psychic Weaklings of Western Civilization.
The band I speak of is The Soundtrack of Our Lives. If you’re not familiar with their work, then I hope to use this blog piece to shed some light on what is one of the most underrated and misunderstood bands in rock history.
I’ve decided to talk about Extended Revelation because it is such an anomaly of its time. The record picks up where the group’s (also fantastic) debut left off, and steers their sound into darker realms of psychedelia. Regardless of this new experimentation in style and tone, the songwriting remains the top priority; and that’s the key here.
The group have always boasted an impressive collective of songwriters, and the partnerships of Lundberg/Person and Lundberg/Bärjed have been more consistent than the likes of Jagger/Richards. I’m serious! Just listen to the music. Extended Revelation (and the rest of the band’s discography) is fucking good, from start to finish. There’s so much variety over the 16 included tracks; it’s truly astounding. No other band before or after have managed to explore so many styles and vibes on one record, while retaining such a high standard of quality. There’s no fat to be found on Extended Revelation.
One can space out to the Pink Floyd stylings of “Psychomantum X2000” before rocking out to the Stones-like “Safety Operation.” There are epic sermons (“Black Star”, “Jehovah Sunrise”), and intimate, poignant ballads (“Love Song #3105”, “From Gravity to Gold”). My personal favorite track, “All for Sale”, begins slowly before crescendoing into a stunning vocal round. Intricate melody is to be found everywhere, and the musicianship belongs in a class of its own. You’d be hard-pressed to find modern rock musicians who are more capable at their instruments than the members of TSOOL.
Most importantly, Extended Revelation was a brave album to release in 1998. It represents a group of rock artists who were more than willing to laugh in the face of convention. I can’t think of many current rock acts who would be bold enough to do the same. Regardless of commercial success and publicity, it is a band’s body of work that speaks volumes to their true impact. TSOOL leaves behind one hell of a legacy; to be discovered and appreciated by generations of listeners (both human and not) for eons to come.