Ja Tik Butu
[engl] Originally released 1978 on Pennine Records, two catalogue numbers before they issued the famouse "Rosemary Lane" album by Tickwinda! Even European music might have quite an exotic feeling and Latvian ethno rockers ALVA are the living proof. Based in England at the time they released their sole album “Ja tik butu” they fell straight into the folk rock genre with their cross of melancholic, even slightly psychedelic rock and colorful, mystifying Baltic folk and all of this in the middle of the UK punk explosion. So you will certainly be aware of the raw edge the rock part of their music bears. But this is just the fundament of the songs on which anthem like haunting melodies grow to entwine around your mind like ivy. The result is mind expanding and you can be sure that this is something you will hardly have experienced before in such a radical form. Folk, melancholic rock and laid back punk rock melted into one enchanting sound with the Eastern, the Baltic folk being holding the biggest share in the overall picture. The punk feeling on the other hand is the result of a rather energetic playing while all musicians are as skilled as a band should be. ALVA leave the sloppy performance always associated with punk rock to others. They even reach a post punkish area with the strange, yet also anthem like and humorous “Vilcenu dziesma”, sixth track on this colorful album. ALVA could have inspired fans from 1960s garage rock to haunting Eastern European gypsy folk to more sophisticated punk rock and become a major force in the rock world if the business was just a little bit more fair. This album is like a trip in spirit through an idyllic landscape most of the time but there is always a feeling of uproar backing up the flaming melodies. Listen with a free mind and you will be dragged into a world of sheer beauty and joy.