Sweden is seemingly the home for anything retro these days, and ETT ROP PÅ HJÄLP (which translates to A Crey for Help) is the latest act joining the party. Hur Svårt Kan Det Vara? is their new release from Transbutans/Record Heaven, and yes, the influence of 70's hard rock is all over the place on the CD. Listing bands such as November and Solid Ground as influences, you can also hear some Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Jethro Tull creep up from time to time. Unlike some of their fellow Swedish bands who have made a dent on the scene in recent years, ETT ROP PÅ HJÄLP have chosen to sing in their native language, which for many here in the US as well as parts of Europe might be a bit of a stumbling block. Musically speaking, these guys have a lot to offer, mixing up hard rock styles with plenty of psychedelia, and for the most part it all works. The riffs are never too heavy, often times having a jangly, sort of Rolling Stones feel to them, and the vocals, despite being in Swedish, are solid enough. Some of the lead guitar work has an exploratory vibe, not unlike vintage Grateful Dead. One of the best tracks is the slow, doomy "Sagor (Och Ingenting Annat Än Sagor)", which seemingly puts together everything this band is all about, and "Tvål & Alkohol" is one of the more upbeat tracks, with a heavy groove not far removed from the early work of Grand Funk Railroad.
Overall, Hur Svårt Kan Det Vara? is a pretty enjoyable slice of 70's inspired hard rock & psych, but its appeal is hindered by the decision to sing the entire album in Swedish. If that doesn't bother you, then you'll find lots to enjoy here.
01 Den Siste Altruisten
02 Den Europeiska Löken
04 Sagor (Och Ingenting Annat Än Sagor)
06 Tvål & Alkohol
07 Följ Mitt Liv
08 Ett Rop På Hjälp
09 Josef K