With some ecstatic greater love for the seemingly infinite boon of heavy psych and blues rock in the late 60’s and early 70’s across the globe, Swedish retro-rock enthusiasts Svvamp rewound their sound towards hallowed old-fidelity with the 4-track recording of their impressive self-titled debut in 2016. Their stripped-naked sound acts as a strikingly vivid, untouched window into classic blues rock a la Cream and Blue Cheer with some dips into the more lax jams of southern blues rock, pre-heavy metal freaks, and their ilk. The band’s style on that first record wasn’t all about heaviness and rarely hit harder than debuts from Zeppelin or Deep Purple in general. When Svvamp are rocking a riff (“Golden Crown”) they have the swagger of the first UFO record and a satisfyingly blues stomp recalling early Toad. For their second full-length the band goes a little harder, a little softer than before with their entirely chill retro sound.
‘Svvamp 2’ feels thicker and slicker with a 6-track providing some slight extra room for guitar interplay, some light experimentation all while keeping their production nude and bushy. Svvamp really move in on my heavy psych radar with this release, particularly when the guitars are buzzing and flinging around more than just twanging blues. Songs like “Queen”, “The Wheel” and “Hillside” ring of those Stone Bunny/Pentagram comparisons everyone threw around when the first album released and now I can concur to some degree but Leaf Hound would be a more accurate comparison and still a bit far out of line. In fact the softer register of Svvamp‘s style is often on The Allman Brothers Band side of sleepy, bluesy rock outside of the heavier songs. So, it wouldn’t be fair to approach ‘Svvamp 2’ coming in expecting the second coming of Deep Purple‘s ‘The Book Of Taliesyn’ or the freak-out of Iron Butterfly‘s ‘Ball’ but I dunno if the soft songs aren’t too fluffy.
Hey, I’m a fan of the messier side of heavy psych and hard rock, so the cool-hand stuff like Grand Funk Railroad and Big Star is often too preened for my taste. Svvamp have that same restrained, almost constricted feeling boogie in their suits but they do freak out a lid and get heavy when it counts. I understand they were going for ‘stripped down’ and more filling the room with groove and the blues; ‘Svvamp 2’ is a good ride for what it intends to be. That said I definitely began skipping “Sunshine Street”, “How Sweet it Would Be” and “Blues Inside” after the second listen and got my thrills and kicks solely from the remaining seven tracks. If nothing else this album got me to sit down and listen to bands like UFO, Toad and Iron Butterfly afterwards and I appreciate any music that can carry me off into an late 60’s/early 70’s bender so genuinely. Definitely jam “Hillside”, “Out of Line” and “Queen” then decide for yourself.
|Released||June 8, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on RidingEasy Records’ Bandcamp!||Follow Svvamp on Facebook|
Hard Rock, Blues Rock,
You can’t do that in here. 3.25/5.0
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