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Reviews

Greenleaf: Trails and passes

10/04/14  ||  Dinu

Greenleaf are a stoner trio from Sweden. Tommi Holappa from Dozer, Daniel Liden from Demon Cleaner and Bengt Backe and Peder Bergstrand from Lowrider brought out their first EP in 2000 followed by “Revolution rock” in 2001, “Secret alphabets” in 2003, “Agents of Ahriman” in 2007 and “Nest of vipers” in 2012. Small Stone Records have issued the new album ‘Trails and passes’ and everything I’ve heard from that label is raw, heavy, and good.

The riffs are long, the drumming is intense, the vocals are ferocious, and the album has a very 70s feel to it. The production is very clean and this is their finest album yet. The entire album has an early Deep Purple influence. Tommi Holappa keeps the guitar on an even keel from start to finish. Arvid Jonsson is tight and melodious, Sebastian Olsson is groovy. He knows how to keep the listeners swinging to the beat and Bengt Backe keeps the bass rumbling and growling. The band is clear, crisp and the sum is so much greater than the parts.

“Our motherash” opens the album and the riffs are reminiscent of Liquid Jesus, the 90s San Francisco stoner doom band that nobody has heard of. It is full of energy and keeps the listener hooked throughout. “Ocean deep” is melodious, powerful, and tight. There is not a single misstep on this one. It breezes with a gust of bass, drums and cool vocals. “Equators” is straight-up stoner. Riffs pile on riffs and it looks like Fu Manchu have also been a big influence on the Swedish quartet for this track. “Depth of the sun” has unexpected chord directions and gripping snare hits reverberating. The song almost threatens to turn into a prog-rock number before we hit “Humans.” This is my favorite song off the whole album. Clean riffs, drums that glide along smoothly, guitar that surges along and vocals that keep them all tied together in a tight knot. The song is your staple stoner rock with the band displaying their chops from start to finish.

“With eyes wide open” has a Led Zeppelin vibe and the grooves take over. “The drum” is Olsson’s show all the way and you just have to listen and let him entrance you. “Bound to be machines” is the penultimate track and is the weakest off this album only because it sounds more or less the same. “Trails and passes”, is the album finisher and it brings things to a full circle with the drums taking over and the bass trailing along. There are tribal rhythms on this one and once the album ends you can’t help but play it again.

8

  • Information
  • Released: 13 May 2014
  • Label: Smallstone Records
  • Website: Greenleaf Bandcamp
  • Band
  • Tommi Holappa: guitar
  • Arvid Jonsson: vocals
  • Sebastian Olsson: drums
  • Bengt B├Ącke: bass
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Our motherash
  • 02. Ocean deep
  • 03. Equators
  • 04. Depth of the sun
  • 05. Humans
  • 06. With eyes wide open
  • 07. The drum
  • 08. Bound to be machines
  • 09. Trails and passes