A record that virtually defies categorization, Pearls Before Swine's 1968 epic Balaklava is the near-brilliant follow-up to One Nation Underground — and second masterpiece from Tom Rapp's merry band. This quasi-historical mystery album featuring a lisping songwriter who was recording 78 RPM cylinders and talking about Florence Nightingale existed, if not in the middle, then somewhere over there. It was fitting that the album had a home on ESP Records then—and now it has one on Drag City. A host of NYC session players augments the OG Pearls gang, progressing the sound into greater depth and darkness, with Rapp's lyric quill pointed gently at the world of contradictions that allows so much love and beauty, and so much to destroy it. Newly restored to highlight the gorgeous design of the album, inside and out. Make war no more. The style of the music is incredible – a dark blend of rock and folk, with slight avant influences, in a style that's influenced countless groups in later years, most famously some of the British acts on 4AD. Rapp's vision and vocals are instantly captivating – sad and moody but never self-pitying, with a sound that's as striking as the production of the album's jagged musical backings"It’s a record that flits from more earnest and stripped-bare balladry to spots that are genuinely exploratory and compositionally audacious" Norman Records
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