Graveyard : Hisingen Blues

They Say :- When Swedish doom/stoner outfit NORRSKEN split up in 2000 it gave birth to two new bands. While one remaining member founded WITCHCRAFT, the rest of the band went on to form something really rare, something obviously unique – an honest sonic feeling that is now known as GRAVEYARD. A group that stands for no boundaries, no limits at all. Playing all sorts of rockish music makes GRAVEYARD stand out from the crowd. Be it classic rock, blues, jazz, folk – you name it – the authentic quintet makes it sound real at any time. With wide influences spreading throughout different genres, GRAVEYARD always stay top notch in what they do – giving the listener a broadened spectrum of emotions, moods & feelings. BLACK SABBATH meets ROLLING STONES meets LED ZEPPELIN meets JANIS JOPLIN … the list could go on longer and longer… While other bands just count on their neo satanic attitude or revived old school imagery, GRAVEYARD deliver it all along with stunning tunes that take you on a journey to a long lost decade of true musicianship.

We Say :- For all their influence, it’s been a while since a band have paid homage to the majesty and genius of Led Zeppelin. And I don’t mean in a shameless, cash-in, rip-off way like Kingdom Come, either. Sweden’s Graveyard: a band so obviously in love with Robert Plant and Co are, to these ears, on the verge of turning their brand of Zep love into considerable success with the release of “Hisingen Blues”.  Seriously, this is a band so in love with  the 1970s in general, you think they are about to declare a 3 day week (google it, history students).

Ain’t Fit to Live Here sets things off brilliantly well- fluid playing, a cracking, hummable tune. There’s a sense of the familiar but it somehow feels new and slightly strange too- it’s one of those records that you think you’ve heard before but haven’t: its one that you want to instantly hear again.  Title track Hisingen Blues has an opening guitar part that reminds me of proggy Mastodon before careering into a solid and infectious blues groove.

Uncomfortably Numb is an aching blues ballad with a great lyrical refrain of “I’ve been leaving you since the day we met and it feels like you have too”. It is a fabulously cruel yet painfully accurate human insight. It’s the emotional heart of the first half of a record that wanders a well trodden path of blues and rock but never feels tired, never feels forced. Rather, it’s a reboot of the familiar, with a lightness of touch, a freedom of creative imagination, emotional intelligence and, yes, let’s not forget, a set of cracking tunes.

Buying Truth has a driving psychedelic guitar part that underpins a groove that’s part Bolan, part Baroness, all lovely. Closing track The Siren has that reflective quality beloved of all blues bands; it’s a forlorn love song, of course, but it’s the band’s playing and the sincerity of the vocal that elevates it way above the humdrum, the pedestrian  and makes a direct play for that part of your brain where songs get stuck. Yeah, that kind of good.

Hisingen Blues  is a splendid bourbon- soaked, zep toned album with a welcome freshness, a subtlety of songwriting and a dedication and commitment that is hard to fault. So I’m not going to. I don’t mind that Graveyard wear their influences so openly- with influences like these, it really would be rude to demand more. The fact that they do is only to their credit, our delight and, with any luck, their success.

Pretty brilliant as these things go.