GIN LADY – Electric Earth (Kozmik Artifactz)
For those of us in the UK, for whom the 1970s were all about car strikes and prawn cocktails, medium rare steaks and black forest gateau washed down with Liebfraumilch, Gin Lady are the perfect antidote. The Seventies-loving Swedes are back once more with their fourth collection of retro revolutions which need no industrial action nor gastronomical monstrosities to conjure up the ambiance of the decade that, musically, refuses to die.
Following on from last year’s highly-acclaimed ‘Call the Nation’ ‘Electric Earth’ is another grandiose slice of good, old-fashioned hard rock. Unlike a lot of the other bands that are riding the wave of nostalgia, vocalist Magnus Kamebro, guitarist Joakim Karlsson, bassist Anthon Johansson and drummer Fredrik Normark aim firmly for the hippy, trippy side of the tracks – much more Bad Company than Deep Purple, if you see what I mean – and channel the mellow vibes of the likes of Humble Pie, the Faces and the Stones into a perfectly reconstituted glance into rock ‘n’ roll’s rear view mirror. Opener ‘Flower People’ has a Jagger/Richards swagger, ‘Rolling Thunder’ just needs Rod Stewart’s gravel-edged tones to sit on ‘Ohh La La’ and ‘Brothers Of the Canyon’ – in which Karlsson is let of the leash and free to solo away to his heart’s content – could easily have appeared on a Santana album. But let’s not forget that these guys have worked hard over four albums now to develop their own identity, and although they’ve mined the past for inspiration, the songs are theirs and theirs alone.
The playing is flawless and fluid, and I have to admit to being a sucker for Kamebro’s honey-edged vocals. Sonically, ‘Electric Earth’ belongs well and truly in the twenty-first century, but whereas the band’s heads are in the here-and-now, their hearts are lost in the way-back-when. Glorious.
© John Tucker October 2017