[4 February 2007]
Food, a relatively obscure Chicago group who released their only album, Forever Is a Dream, in 1969, gets the reissue treatment from Fallout; and though the recording quality’s inevitably dated, this QUIET album of soft-edged psychedelic rock offers a varied palate of pleasures. Psychedelia has been played and played out, so it’s difficult to evaluate this with fresh ears: even so, the smallest of signifiers immediately sets us off—a slight wobble at the end of a melody, in the flute or the trumpet. The bending communicates that pastoral melody is imperfect, and it’s a metaphor that sticks. Just listen to Asteroid #4 and compare. But Forever Is a Dream is inescapably a debut album. “What It Seems to Be” blossoms into a full-sounding orchestral ballad, shouting out with the kind of abandon you associate with ‘90s indie. However, “Coming Back” and a few other tracks have an amateurish air, like the band’s searching, not quite reaching, a fully-worked out song. Simplicity still carries the day… “Lady Miss Ann” reminds strongly of Simon & Garfunkel, but then again so does Tobias Freiberg. If they had stuck around, Food may have proven themselves a band worth that ‘cult’ label.