Red Krayola
The Parable of Arable Land



by Jared H. USER (25 Reviews)
January 5th, 2016 | 11 replies

Release Date: 1967 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A dense psychedelic fog.

Picture this: you’ve wandered into a forest on a particularly humid day only to realize that the forest is covered a thickly dense fog. Not only is the fog dense, but it’s also incredibly colorful: mostly reds and pinks and oranges maybe a bit of green for some contrast and there’s absolutely no way that you can see your own hands even though they’re right in front of your face. Every few minutes it clears up a little bit, so you begin to run trying to escape all of the confusion only to realize that it returns to its dense state causing you to get lost again. Eventually you give up trying to escape the forest and sit down right in the center of it all only to realize that this fog is the essence of The Red Krayola’s debut The Parable of Arable Land.

The dense fog takes it’s form as 7 different “Free Form Freak-Out” tracks consisting of directionless jams with pounding drums, distorted guitars, and strange whistling sounds. This is to no fault however since their purpose is to envelop the listener with thick psychedelic soundscapes. When it’s time for each “Free Form Freak-Out” to end, they segue seamlessly into a more structured track, most of which are typical psychedelic rock tracks. The one exception is the album’s title track. “Parable of Arable Land” is a strange minimalist piece that builds upon itself and the only track on the album that completely lacks both psychedelic and rock elements - if anything it sounds like it belongs in an experimental minimalistic classical piece. For this reason, it is easily the album’s most standout track. As for the more focused rock tracks, they are all fun listens, but musically fail to be anything particularly mind blowing. What does make them standout are their absurd lyrics. Lyrics such as: "My liquid head open to the rain. I waltz through a bushel and a peck of grain. Hearing in my head a hurricane and speaking to the man about a train" from "Transparent Radiation" create ideas almost as dense and puzzling as the “Free Form Freak-Outs” sound. However, it seems as though The Red Krayola are at their best on their directionless instrumentals, which is actually rather strange when compared to other artists in the psychedelic rock community.

The fog disappears as the album’s closer “Former Reflections Enduring Doubt” gently guides you out of the forest only for you to realize that you would gladly re-enter the forest many times again. “I can't remember what they were saying. They started to speak they were here. There was a flower. Well come closer, closer to me.”

The Parable of Arable Land is a best experienced as a whole due to it’s immaculate ability of flow from one track to the next as if it were one large song with different sections. Anyone who is interested in the more experimental side of 60s psychedelic music should give it a try since it’s an ambitious, incredibly hazy, fun relic -even if it has incredibly dated sound quality.

Album Highlights: “Free Form Freak-Out” (all 7), “Hurricane Fighter Plane”, “Parable of Arable Land”

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user ratings (50)

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 4th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Not perfect, but still very enjoyable.

Digging: Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

January 4th 2016


your moms would kill you if she knew what you were on right now
interesting review, enjoy a pos Ars

January 4th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks Titan, I'm not sure if you'd like this.

January 4th 2016


big thanks for that review Ars, album really needed one!

January 5th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, I'm surprised it didn't already have one!

January 5th 2016


Sweeeeee :]

Although I disagree about the songs being typical psychedelic tracks. Far from it. I rarely agree with Scaruffi's descriptions but I think he really nailed it with this album: pieces float not because they are ethereal but because melody and rhythm are left "loose". They are organisms that rely on supporting skeletons that are falling apart as they move. I can't think of any other album that has this quality (aside from some later Krayola work).

Most of the time the instrumentalists are in dysharmony, and when they finally meet at some point, they gradually or, sometimes, immediately miss each other again. To a small degree this has been adopted by future psych/exp artists, but it's never been done even partially as amazingly as here, where the songs are at the same time fiery psychedelic blasts, and fragile constructions that feel like they can crumble at any moment.

Digging: Gospel - The Moon Is a Dead World

January 5th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I don't know, the structure of the non-Free Forms seemed pretty solid to me, or at least as solid as a track by Can or Silver Apples that I've heard.

January 5th 2016


Nice review man, have a pos

Coincidentally I was just wonderin last wee why this album didn't have a review yet

January 19th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'm surprised this album isn't more popular on here honestly.

May 3rd 2016


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This is one of those records that has the ability to escalate my boner, suppress it, and then intensify the stiffy once more. It's a roller coaster of an album, I tell ya h'wut. Hurricane Fighter Plane is one of the best numbers Red Krayola's debut offering has to offer.

May 21st 2016


Album Rating: 4.5

Hurricane Fighter Plane is mind-blowing.

Digging: Theocracy - Ghost Ship

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