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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Record Review - Dean Allen Foyd

The Sounds Can Be So Cruel
Crusher CD, LP and download

This Stockholm trio, featuring former members of Roachpowder and Mother Superior, have had their debut in the can for nearly two years before a record label saw fit to release it. Thank heavens they did, for we would be poorer without it. Nine tracks of acid rock and beyond always brings a smile to the Happening universe. What’s on offer you ask? Epic opener ‘Please Pleaze Me’ has plenty of cliches you come to expect from psych rock: fuzz guitar, splashy drums, dramatic female backing vocals, and a slight air of something not being quite right with the world (“sky keeps burning” etc.). Yet still it is swirly magnifique. ‘Lovely Sort of Death’ is all Cream-indebted heavy riffage, with some blistering bass runs to get you on your feet. The short ‘Steady Rollin Man’ has a familiar slide guitar intro, and what you think might be a Stones-aping blues roller also comes with the Creedence magic Delta boogie too. ‘Revelation Blues’ is the most commercial number on here, a blues-pop ditty reminiscent of both fellow Swedes The Soundtrack Of Our Lives and band du jour The Black Keys.

On a different tack is pastoral beauty of ‘She's So Blue’ - all flute lines, wah-wah guitars and stoned vocals, building to a mid-song frugging crescendo before returning to its original state. As if to say ‘Hey, everything is cool with me after all’. ‘Into The Pearly Gates’ and ‘The New Dawn’ have that Led Zep/Wolf People hairy prog-rock vibe, 1971 guitar tone, loose frenetic drums, etc. The strings come out for closer, the yearning ‘Witches’. It’s almost perfect, but it holds back slightly. Actually this album probably shows too much respect for the musical past for it’s own good. Who know whats could be achieved were they to let loose a bit more. This album has lots of different sounds, and is the work of excellent musicians creating a coherent whole. Don’t expect originality, but do expect an excellent 45 minutes of Hendrix/Hawkwind/Page-inspired retro rock’n’roll.

Phil Istine

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