Tee Pee
rating icon 7 / 10

Track listing:

01. Evil Ways
02. Thin Line
03. Lost In Confusion
04. Don't Take Us For Fools
05. Blue Soul
06. Submarine Blues
07. As the Years Pass By, the Hours Bend
08. Right Is Wrong
09. Satan's Finest

Sweden has always been a fertile ground for retro-minded rockers, with a crop of stoner bands in the 90's that arguably put the rest of the world to shame. Continuing that tradition is the laid-back, amiably psychedelic GRAVEYARD, fairly recently formed but already sounding like old souls steeped in warm, inviting grooves and loping, heavy-lidded rhythms.

Songs tend to ramble here, with busy drums percolating under thick, heavy slabs of fuzz guitar as informed by 60's psych and garage rock as by heavier strains. The vocals are mellow, in Jack Bruce territory, with some high-register peaks that call to mind Chris Cornell or the guy from MAMMOTH VOLUME. And like that band, these guys get into a groove that's worn in a good way, like a familiar pair of jeans, though where MAMMOTH VOLUME insert their prog-rock influences, GRAVEYARD stays on the mossy path of CREAM and mellower SABBATH worship, preferring to set a mood with simplicity and head-nodding grooving.

It's all about as earth-shattering as it sounds, but rewriting the rule book isn't the reason for GRAVEYARD to shamble to life. Too few bands can capture this kind of vibe without making things heavier and more aggressive – nothing wrong with that, of course, but it's just that it's rare to see bands dexterous to dish out, say, the trippy section before the solo in "Right Is Wrong" and keep a delicate enough touch to give it subtlety and breathing space. GRAVEYARD is a very analog sort of band — warm, crackly, possessed of a vibe that's aesthetically related to the more caustic and crunching side of bong-metal, but spiritually on the opposite side of the coin. This is a worthy debut, well suited for late nights and altered minds, from another clan of Swedes that do their country's riff-rock legacy proud.

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