Swedish guitarist/vocalist Spice (former Spiritual Beggars) has a new project more in the vein of S.B. than his other band Kayser (who’s more a melodic Thrash outfit).
Actually I really like Stoner/Southern Rock/Metal from bands like Brand New Sin and their likes, and this one doesn’t fall that far from the rest of the (better) bands in the genre, all though this one somehow doesn’t quite hit a home-run for me. If something should be said to be different with this album, than from the general in the Stoner-genre, it might be the at times obvious 70’s inspiration a la Black Sabbath or Led Zep, and the more melodic parts in some tracks.
Generally Spice and his two pals deliver a solid straight ahead rockin’ album with a good drive, and yet often melodic. Not all of the tracks are divinely inspired in composition, and there’s no new inventions here – but I guess that wasn’t the intention anyway, so that’s just fine. I think this will be fine as background music for a beer drinking night with the boys, and that it’ll do fine live, but I miss a bit more variation in the tracks to make this an album that will return often to my player for listening.
For this kind of music Spice has a very appropriate voice, mostly deep and raw, but also at times melodic towards something like earlier Robert Plant; actually the vocals are one of the best parts of this album. The guitar playing is ok, kept quite simple most of the way, and the drums are handled ok by Bob Ruben (from Kayser) and so is the bass by Johann (an ex-roadie of a band Spice used to play with); hence the RJ of the band name.
The sound is very good, with a raw edge that should be present in music like this, and yet clear with sufficient depth to set the instruments apart.
If the cover is a hint to the 70’s psychedelic inspiration, well ok then, but for artwork rating there’s not many points with me for something like this – I wonder if it sells that many records in the shop either…
Recommended tracks: As We Lie, Don’t Tell Me, Like A Rose and The Will