Permanent Clear Light "Beyond These Things"

Good records aren't necessarily appealing, just as less inspired recordings can make for excellent company. But when a good record is instantly appealing, and hits the bullseye, that's good news.
Finnish band Permanent Clear Light hits the bullseye with "Beyond these Things", the debut cd by the project of Arto Kakko, Matti Laitinen and Markku Helin, veterans of the Nordic scene and fervent believers in the psychedelic language.
The single "Higher in the sun" was promising and we talked about it here in the Shortcut. However the cd allows the trio to explain much better the musical concepts and the architectures they use. The ( eight ) songs are reasonably long, consistent, diversified and alluring. The chosen blueprint lies somewhere in the border between psychedelia and the early stages of progressive, with the rural, bucolic sound of Canterbury hovering over the few spaces left to fill.
Having said that, we should point out the "pièce de résistance" remains "Higher than the sun", now very "progressively" extented to 9 minutes and 19 seconds; yet, the opener "Constant Gardener" explains a lot. It take us to the adult, mid -1970s universe of Caravan; the violin addicionally reminds us of String Driven Thing and, then, of Van der Graaf in "The quiet zone/The pleasure dome" ( not surprising as Markku Helin is an avowed admirer of Peter Hammill ). "Ribes Negrum" wears the same colours and is the ante-chamber of what comes next: "Harvest time" and "Higher in the Sun, Astral travel". Together they're a powerful cocktail of timeless psychedelia. It starts at the best of Pink Floyd ( "Ummagumma", "More", "Meddle" ) follows towards "In the Land of Grey and Pink" ( Caravan ) and, as far as I hear it, ends at The Church's "Church" and "Remote Luxury" ( maybe that is why Steve Kilbey as publicy expressed his admiration for PCL ).

"And the skies will fall" is a beautiful melody constructed over oriental vibrations and it sounds so good you even forgive the Beach Boys vocal echoes. "Love gun" and the instrumental "Skirmich" place themselves in a somewhat inferior level. But "Weary Moon" brings it all back up and, behind the upfront flute and banjo, I could almost see shadows of Dennis Wilson's soundscapes for "Pacific Ocean Blue". An excellent reference.  
Very good and simultaneously very appealing. I'm sure a lot will be said abound "Beyond these things".

Note: a very special thank you to Markku Helin for having remembered of Shortcut and to Jorge Mourinha for helping in translation.