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They come from the land of the ice and snow...
Stoner rock flashback from Sweden's Graveyard

Graveyard - Hisingen Blues
(Nuclear Blast America)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: January 18, 2012

Review by Tony Bonyata

Attention fans of stoner rock - it's time to pull out the frayed denim bells and get those bongs a bubblin' 'cause Graveyard have delivered, what appears to be, the second-coming of early '70s hard rock. On Hisingen Blues the Swedish quartet taps directly into the core of classic hard rock as they touch on the heaviness of Zeppelin and Deep Purple, the dark mystique of Black Sabbath, the psychedelic rampages of early Cream, and even the red-and-raw vocal howls of Chris Cornell from his early years in Soundgarden (a band who always leaned more towards the hard rock side of late '80s northwestern grunge). Hell, there's even a hint of prog-rock thrown in for good measure... and, come on now, folks, who doesn't like a little prog now and then?

While Graveyard's sound travels back nearly 40 years, it will surely come as a welcome respite for those not so enamored with many of the current trends in music (electronic-overload, campfire folk and twee indie-pop geared for boys who pee sitting down). It's heavy, hard and unapologetic in its homage to the greats that came long before them.

Numbers such as "Ain't Fit To Live Here" and the guitar-fueled title track bristle with exhilarating, steamrolling riffs that straddle between British metal and late '60s blues-rock, while the track "No Good, Mr. Holden" digs deeper into a much trippier blues dirge. Perhaps the most surprising song on this effort, however, is the introspective instrumental "Longing" that mixes jazz undertones with traces of psychedelia and a haunting whistle that sounds as if came straight from a Sergio Leone spaghetti western. It all works together wonderfully and is a strong reminder of just how good "arena rock" once was before it became a bloated, self-parody after '74 or so.

Turns out there's only one thing missing from this collection, though, and that's a Bic lighter to wave high above the head and torch that fat spliff with.

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