One of the consistently great stoner bands over the years that I have NOT profiled in the time I've
been doing, along with Dozer, Fu Manchu, Queens of the Stone Age and a few others (and in time we WILL get to them as well, fear not, this blog will be around as long as 1) I am alive, and 2) they don't shut me down (always a possiblity, but if the do, I'm sure some of my idols in blogland can offer advice, hell ChrisGOes has been shut down more times than I could possibly count, he's a hero and a roll model to all of us who undrstand that SHARING IS ACTUALLY A GOOD THING, JUST LIKE YOUR MOTHER ALWAYS TOLD YOU........
Anyways, Spiritual Beggars from Halmstad Sweden, have been at it since the early 1990's, basically the only "constants" have been guitarist Michael Amott and drummer Ludwig Witt......other current members are singer Apollo Papathanasio, keyboardist Per Weeberg, and bassist Sharlee D'Angelo. Thier sound is border-line stoner,hard blues based rock that reminds one of maybe Five Horse Johnson, whom you know I like......what I'm saying is they are maybe not QUITE as "out there" as some of the more "creative" stoner bands (Los Natas, say, or Orange Goblin just at random), and a little closer to Perl Jam-style hard ass rock n roll.....not a Goddamn thing wrong with that.
Album #1, a self titled affair from 1994, is not the greatest......it tries hard, there are some good tunes
on here, but they would improve upon it. The next year's "Another Way to Shine" picks up the pace a bit, the title track and "Magic Spell" are standout tracks, this was, we could tell, a band on the rise.
The got a bit more creative with the third album "Mantra III", which is a really good one, thier first REALLY good effort (please note: the first two ARE worth your time), better songwriting and better vocals bring out stuff like "Lack of Prozac" (what a TITLE!) and "Homage to the Betrayed", this is a really fine forgotten album of late 1990's stoner rock, highly recommended.
In 2000, they released arguably thier best effort, "Ad Astra", I'd pick it as my fave with a gun at my head......the great "Angel of Betrayal" is the highlight, but there is PLENTY of good stuff here, "Left Brain Ambassadors", "Mantra"and more, if you wish to sample only ONE Spiritual Beggars album (a mistake IMO), this would be the one for ya.
2002's "On Fire" is a pretty good effort as well, it includes more of the bands' trademarked stoner/blues/hard rock, stuff like "Street Fighting Saviours" and "Feejee Mermaid" among others, are "classic" Spiritual Beggars material, the band had peaked with "Ad Astra", but they still had some rifs left in them, fans of ANY hard rock, be it stoner/metal/or just Stonesy hard blues stuff, you'll really want to check these out.
"Demons" is a 2 disc set, released in 2005, with a decent studio disc and a pretty damn good live disc,
these guys evidently put it out live, at least from what I can tell from the live discs.....the studio disc has a lot of depressing themes running through it ("Throwing Your Life Away", "Dying Every Day", LOTS more), but, shit, when has THAT ever stopped anyone from kicking out a rocking effort? And the live disc has good versionsof "Angel of Betrayal" and "Young Man, Old Soul", a LITTLE skimpy, but all in all a good double disc set.
2010's "Return to Zero" is a listenable effort, fans of the band will certainly want to hear it, it's not "Ad Astra", but, you know, I am REALLY a fan of this particular sound (been waiting on "stoner rock" basically my entire life, I am SOOOOO glad it finally emerged).......really, like Sheavy or Orange Goblin, these guys really have never (IMO) made a "bad" album, they all have SOMETHING to recommend them.......stoner rock fans unite!
And can ya beleive that last year, 2013, they actually cranked out ANOTHER double disc set? No shit, it's called "Earth Blues" and follows the same format of "Demons", a studio set of pretty solid material, as coupled with (again, rather skimpy, but why nitpick?) another fine live disc......I really would have liked to see these boys get it done live.
May as well round this out with a coupla boots, both quite good.....got one here called "LiveFire!"
If you are a fan of the "stoner rock" i post here (often), I think you'll like Spiritual Beggars......if you are NOT a fan of it, you may like them as well, as, like I said somewhere here, they are a LITTLE more close to the mainstream hard rock border........it's good shit, I presonally guarentee, and this is another ban I consider fairly underappreciated. Please let me know what you think about them, if this is a new experience for you........I guarentee my stoner-rock "Go-to guy" Mark Eveligh would be happy to offer up a second opinion!
SELF TITLED-01 Yearly Dying/02 Pelekas/03 The Space In Between/04 If This Is All/05 Under Silence/06 Magnificent Obsession/07 Blind Mountain/08 If You Should Leave/09 Nowhere to Go/10 Sour Stains
MANTRA III-01Superbossanova/02 Homage to the Betrayed/03 Monster Astronauts/04 Euphoria/05 Broken Morning/06 Lack of Prozac/07 Bad Karma/08 Send Me a Smile/09 Cosmic Romance/10 Inside Charmer/11 Sad Queen Boogie/12 Mushroom Tea Girl/13 The Band Is Playing/14 Redwod Blues/15 Euphoria (Alternative Mix)
AD ASTRA-01 Left Brain Ambassadors/02 Wonderful World/03 Sedated/04 Angel of Betrayal/05 Blessed/06 Per Aspera Ad Astra/07 Save Your Soul/08 Until the Morning/09 Escaping the Fools/10 On Dark Rivers/11 The Goddess/12 Mantra
ON FIRE-01 Street Fighting Saviours/02 Young Man, Old Soul/03 Killing Time/04 Fool Gold/05 Black Feathers/06 Beneath the Skin/07 Feejee Mermaid/08 Dance of the Dragon King/09 Tall Tale/10 The Lunatic Fringe/11 Look Back/12 Burden of Dreams
DEMONS DISC 1-01 Inner Strength (Intro)/02 Throwing Your Life Away/03 Salt In Your
Wounds/04 One Man Army/05 Through the Halls/06 Treading Water/07 Dying Every Day/08 Born To Die/09 Born To Die (reprise)/10 In My Blood/11 Elusive/12 Sleeping With One Eye Open/13 No One Heard
DEMONS DISC 2-01 Monster Astronauts/02 Angel of Betrayal/03 Young Man, Old Soul/04 Wonderful World/05 Blind Mountain/06 Guitar Solo/07 Look Back/08 Not Fragile
RETURN TO ZERO-01 Return to Zero (Intro)/02 Lost in Yesterday/03 Starborn/04 The Chaos of Rebirth/05 We Are Free/06 Spirit of the Wind/07 Coming Home/ 08 Concrete Horizon/09 A New Dawn Rising/10 I Beleive In Me/11 Dead Weight/12 The Road Less Travelled/13 Time to Live (Uriah Heep Cover)
EARTH BLUES DISC 1-01 Wise as a Serpent/02 Turn the Tide/03 Sweet Magic Pain/04 Hello Sorrow/05 One Man's Curse/06 Dreamer/07 Too Old To Die/08 Kingmaker/09 Road to Madness/10 Ead End Town/11 Freedom Song/12 Legends Collapse
EARTH BLUES DISC 2-01 Left Brain Ambassador/02 Beneath the Skin/03 One Man Army/04 Wonderful World/05 Fools Gold/06 Star Born/07 Concrete Horizon/08 Euphoria
LIVEFIRE!-01 Intro/02 Beneath the Sun/03 Fools Gold/04 Monster Astronauts/05 Angel of Betrayal/06 Young Man, Old Soul/07 Blind Mountain/08 Mantra/09 Wonderful World/10 Killing TIme/11 Not Fragile/12 Euphoria
LIVE ROSKILDE 2000-01 Wonderful World/02 Angel of Betrayal/03 Monster Astronauts/04Sedated/05 Until the Morning/06 Homage to the Betrayed/07 Blind Mountain/08 Per Aspera Ad Astra/09 Broken Morning/10 Euphoria/11 Escaping the Fools
Thanks for reading, listening, commenting, contributing, and just being here!