Spiritual Beggars play music that just begs to be played on the turntable in a dark smoky room in order to be fully absorbed and appreciated. Treading either side of the fuzzy line that separates vintage rock from stoner; the ‘Beggars have a splendid back catalogue and four of their albums are being reissued on coloured vinyl for the first time next week. Another Way to Shine, Mantra III, Ad Astra and On Fire are all on their way in different coloured wax and they should be snapped up by collectors and the curious alike.
Spiritual Beggars have never been right at the forefront of their craft. The fact that the band has been a side-project and a bit of an on/off affair has ensured they have been one of rocks best kept secrets. Take a moment to peer into the past of the band and you’ll never look back.
The first three albums are taken from the Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand era. These albums with Spice on vocals are the peak of the bands powers.
‘Another Way To Shine’ is the straight rock album of the bunch. It’s chock full of rollicking riffs and a heavy rock momentum. Try ‘Blind Mountain’ for size and you’ll get the idea. ‘Ad Astra’ and ‘Mantra III’ journey further into the stoner and psychedelic worlds. With the addition of Per Wiberg on the keyboards, the band were able to really create a 70’s vintage feel and a little bit of a far out hazy atmosphere. The riffs are still there in plentiful measures, get your earholes around ‘Broken Morning’ to experience the band in full flight. ‘Lack of Prozac’ reaches High On Fire standards of clatter too.
‘On Fire’ saw the switch to JB on vocals. We’re massive Grand Magus fans here at CB but this version of Spiritual Beggars doesn’t quite cut the mustard for us. It’s a little more laid back and distinctly lacking in the ferocious firepower that Spice brought along to the band. It’s still well worth a listen but CB would recommend the first three before this one.
All in all, there’s some great music on offer from the Spiritual Beggars and in the vinyl format they can also show off their luscious artwork too. Not all reissues seem like they are really needed but this is a very worthwhile exercise indeed.