Black Paisley 2022
Lighting up their followers’ minds on record number four, Swedish foursome demonstrate incendiary maturity.
With highly charged riffs perfectly attuned to hard rock attitude, this collective may seem to have traded their adventurousness for classic tropes yet that’s never the case when there are rich melodic seams to be mined without compromising the ensemble’s original integrity. Confirming the force their updated line-up is possessed of, as tested on the "Rambler" EP two years earlier, the songs on the full-length “Human Nature” album not only delve deeper into philosophy but also invite the listener to embark on a proper flight of fantasy. More so, by asking “Why don’t you use some imagination?” in the platter’s edgy title track, the Stockholm quartet imposed a sort of concept on the dozen pieces on display, first offering an a cappella welcome line for a passive stance of “Set Me On Fire” and signing off with the slider-oiled roll of “Set Me Free” to outline creative liberty they finally achieved here as the band steer clear of applying any pretense to keep a straight face while laying down incendiary licks.
Infectious groove spurring the pop agenda of choruses on the likes of “Crazy” – where the slight vibrato of Stefan Blomqvist’s voice and intense passages of Franco Santunione’s six strings take to a heavy-veneer dancefloor – don’t undercut serious messages of “Promises” that marries despair to a memorable tune or acoustically tinged “Mojo” that slows the album’s drift to a molasses-like flow without resorting to maudlin balladry but allowing twin guitars weave a mesmeric coda. As Jan Emanuelsson’s bass and Robert Karaszi’s drums drive the sway of “Hard Times” to another sweet worry before “World’s Turning” alternately tiptoes and marches towards its arresting refrain, the full scope of the collective’s method is brought to light.
This method, even with the band still adhering to their chosen genre, should open endless possibilities to the Scandinavians whose next venture has to rocket up to the skies and beyond.