Sweden’s heavy traditionalists double their creative strike on the second album whence the blackness is banished.
They’ve always sounded like an echo from the past – quite tangible echo – but while, from 2004 to 2009, BLACK BONZO reflected the hard rock edge of the early ’70s, the band’s new configuration, billed as GIN LADY, take on a further timewarp. With their 2012’s self-titled debut an impressive statement of intent, its follow-up catches the quintet at the crest of the writing wave that, encompassing two CDs and 17 pieces, threatens to turn into tsunami. Yet there’s no overspill nor overkill, from the handclaps-abetted boogie of the title track and “Rockin’ Horse” on, thanks to the tasty brass injection on the glam of “Superlove” or “High Flyer” and Klas Holmgren’s ivories jive throughout, as well as the groove variety.
There’s no escaping from the slow ‘n’ easy flow of “Oh, Sweet Misery” and “All Because Of You” with its blues-based elegance led by Magnus Karnebro’s seductive tones. But, although “Listen What I Say” prospers on the slider-and-organ roll and “Big Bad Wolf” bares its acoustic teeth at the Delta with much gusto, a certain repetition sets in on the rise of the Keith Richards-patented sleaze. It’s all over the harmonica-sprayed “Den Of Wolves” that gets high on Joakim Karlsson’s acidic axe, or “Shine On (Song For Terry)” with its theatrical sneer, whereas “Someday” is shaped too close to the CREAM blueprint. So the band may depict a strict reserve in the swing of “Far From Being OK” yet, in fact, everything’s all right with their jailhouse stock.