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SVVAMP

Svvamp

Svvamp 2

    Swedish trio Svvamp’s self-titled debut was a breath of fresh air — unpretentious and free, primordial homespun classic rock that landed in the Top 20 Albums of 2016 in the Doom Charts consortium of writers and radio. The most common remark being just how genuine and uncontrived it sounded, unlike most bands that posture and mimic the sounds of yesteryear.

    So, it may be hard to grasp how fully realized the band sounds on Svvamp 2, while still sounding as laid back as their debut. Perhaps it can be partly attributed to Svvamp’s jump from self-recording on a 4-channel cassette deck to self-recording on a comparatively expansive SIX-channel system. That’s two whole more tracks to fill up, folks! The obvious comparison to the groundbreaking psychedelic albums of the late 60s, when artists began experimenting with studios moving from 4, to 8 to 16 tracks, is fitting here too.

    “On Svvamp 2 the sound is more raw in the sense that it’s stripped,” vocalist/drummer Adam Johansson explains. “So the music is more bare. We make sure all of the instruments are treated equally, they all have their place in a song. Obviously, with 6-tracks now available we’ve had a bit of fun with that.”

    Svvamp is three friends — Johansson, Henrik Bjorklund and Erik Stahlgren, all of whom share lead vocal duties — drawn together for the sake of jamming and a love of rock, folk and blues. Their resulting heavy psych sound bears hints of Cream, Eric Bell-era Thin Lizzy, CCR and Crazy Horse.

    Svvamp 2 opens with a lightly plucked electric guitar line that Clapton would be proud to claim his own, before quickly launching into the heavy riff anthem “Queen”, echoing the bare chested bravado of Grand Funk Railroad. “Sunshine Street” is charmingly unapologetic garage pop reminiscent of Big Star. “The Wheel” is a hook-loaded bluesy rocker, while “How Sweet It Would Be” hearkens to the glazed zombie drive of Canned Heat’s “On The Road Again.” Elsewhere, “Alligator” brings on a showstopping stomp of dueling guitars, syncopated drums and wailing, distorted vocal howls to close out the proceedings with fitting aplomb.

    “We definitely wanted to mix styles and genres, so the music stays interesting for the band, like the first record,” Johansson says. “Our approach is still fairly straightforward and live. And, all of us sharing lead vocal duties solidifies that the band consists of three equal members.”

    TRACK LISTING

    01) Intro
    02) Queen
    03) The Wheel
    04) Sunshine Street
    05) How Sweet It Would Be 06) Hillside
    07) Surrender
    08) Out Of Line
    09) Blues Inside
    10) Alligator 

    Swedish trio Svvamp is the real deal. Countless bands today strive to sound genuine -- whether faking their way through a ProTools pastiche of carefully assembled takes, painstakingly tarnishing tracks to give them a “live feel” or simply copying the style of their favourite band. And, usually, their posturing is entirely transparent. Every once in a while though, you find a band without self-conscious pretence that truly echoes the mood and vibe of an era when the rulebooks were burned with the draft cards and the act of playing rock’n’roll was simultaneously defiant and inherently casual. Svvamp is just that type of primordial beauty captured on a perfect 11-song debut. Svvamp was created by three friends - Adam Johansson, Henrik Bjorklund and Erik Stahlgren - drawn together for the sake of jamming and a love of rock, folk and blues. Their resulting heavy psych sound is immediately gripping in its homespun feel and hints of Cream, Eric Bell-era Thin Lizzy, CCR and Crazy Horse.

    “Serpent in the Sky” kicks things off with a syncopated bluesy riff romp, while “Burning Down” echoes the stomping freeform feel of the New Yardbirds’ “How Many More Times.” Once things settle in to the laid back shuffle of “Free At Last”, Svvamp really finds its groove and lets loose like Axis: Bold As Love Jimi Hendrix . “Time” sounds almost like Ziggy Stardust era Bowie with a boogie swagger and cheeky vocals. “Set My Foot and Leave” sounds as earnest and unpretentious as The Faces (and at times like Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May”, without all that shaggy, smug Rodness). Elsewhere, “Blue In the Face” slips into a heavy groove while “Oh, Girl” bashes out stop ’n’ go riffs with the Marshall stack dramatics of Blue Cheer . Chiming mandolin and acoustic guitars lead the charming closing anthem, “Down By The River" (not the Neil Young song).

    TRACK LISTING

    1: Serpent In The Sky
    2: Fresh Cream
    3: Burning Down
    4: Free At Last
    5: Time
    6: Bug Rest
    7: Set My Foot And Leave
    8: Golden Crown
    9: Blue In The Face
    10: Oh Girl
    11: Down By The River


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