Go to content | Go to navigation | Go to search

Reviews

Graveyard: Hisingen blues

17/02/12  ||  Habakuk

The end of 2011 was basically a huge catching up for me. For some reason, I had hardly followed the year’s releases besides those that I got served on Audio Autopsy. Which is great, as it more than covers my needs for shit music. By the time I was putting together my GD best-of list, it was already too late, but luckily other lists are published faster (hence of course with way less insight) than ours. Before the year’s end I still had the chance to make a few quick grabs and “Hisingen Blues” was one I made without even listening to any advance soundbites.

Too big was the appeal of an album that sounded – so I read – first and foremost, analogue to the bone. I hate, hate, hate modern sounding production jobs. And yes, I read right. This sounds exactly like you’d imagine a rehearsal room in your wet sound engineer dreams. A warm fuzz permeates the recording, the drums sound like… drums! and in general, the lot of attention that was spent on dynamics, and making this sound alive, paid off. Seriously, this album is one unobtrusive ear-pleaser. By now you should have guessed, these guys don’t exactly play brutal death. Yeah, their moniker is a bit misleading. What they do play is heavily 70s influenced rock music that quotes everything between Led Zeppelin and Sabbath.

The album title on the other hand is quite fitting. Never been to Hisingen myself, I mean the “Blues” part: The songs, even the faster ones, have a remarkably unagitated atmosphere, with the sharpest element in the generally round sound being Jonatan Ramm’s old school singing, which oftentimes gets melancholic or, well, mildly desperate. Not the frostbvtten, nationalist-trollish hate at the world, but the “oh well, let’s just move on” style of desperation. This doesn’t turn into a dark, twilit, doped-out psycho record like other 70s recitals either, but in its partly upbeat, partly super downtempo vibe stays somewhat coherent and focused. Sure, you can’t totally get the weed smell out of it (“tonight a demon caaame into my head”), but the driving force behind this album clearly was of musical, not herbal nature. Thus, there is no shortage of thick groove and infectious hooks – but for some odd reason, by the time the album is through, nothing really sticks in a “let’s go back to that part”-way. I don’t really mind that, don’t get me wrong, it’s just weird in its totality. Right after the first listen, I think the album lay around for a week or so without me wasting but a thought on it, and until now I have to consciously decide to put it on. I guess that’s a downside of sounding unobtrusive, but the actual listening experience doesn’t suffer from that. No, the bluesy topic translates well into a soothing tone, and the overall impression is that of consistent quality. I just might not have enough of the Blues, so I must be reminded to put it on.

Consequently, I couldn’t have placed this at the very top of last year’s best-of list, but the the quality served by the band cannot be denied, and this is definitely up with the top tier releases of 2011, especially considering that it was a generally weak year to these ears. Don’t let that fool you though, take it from someone not too proficient in the genres cited: if you have any inclination towards 70s rock, you should not miss out on this. If only for the great production.

7.5

  • Information
  • Released: 2011
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Website: Graveyard MySpace
  • Band
  • Joakim Nilsson: vocals, guitars
  • Jonatan Ramm: vocals, guitars
  • Rikard Edlund: bass
  • Axel Sjöberg: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Ain’t fit to live here
  • 02. No good, Mr Holden
  • 03. Hisingen Blues
  • 04. Uncomfortably numb
  • 05. Buying truth (Tack och förlåt)
  • 06. Longing
  • 07. Ungrateful are the dead
  • 08. Rss
  • 09. The siren
  • 10. Cooking brew