Blowback: 800 Miles
Straddling between heavy blues in the vein of Clutch and the more groove oriented side of stoner, Sweden's Blowback return with their third album, to move, groove and blues us with a fine set of mid paced stomps that will have you nodding your head in approval.
Across the disc the most obvious comparison, as mentioned, is to a less frantic or intense Clutch as the fuzzed up guitar tone gives the same vibe as their US counter parts and vocalist Stefan has a very similar delivery to Neil Fallon that serves to add to the similarities. With a total running time of around the thirty five minute mark, Blowback have followed the growing trend to return to album lengths from the vinyl era and while one or two more examples of dense rich guitars wouldn't have gone amiss, this is one of those albums where you automatically reach for the play button as soon it finishes the previous spin.
While most of 800 Miles is a full on assault, Blowback do have the ability to mix in some subtle changes to the formula and after the initial attack of "The Only Thing I Know" and its 70's influenced stoner rock, "The Big Black Hole" switches off the distortion which results in an altogether more 1960's vibe and indeed the guitar solo almost resembles Hank Marvin and strange though it may sound, it is actually one of the strongest moments on the album. "No Soul" brings the pace down further, however the stalking bass line seems to come over as threatening and eerie and is a surprising welcome change of pace before another blues and harmonica infused romp ends the song.
"Dead Man's Blues" sounds like Status Quo would have turned out if they had been born in the US, with that rock and roll shuffle beefed up and turned into a big distorted slab of rock and the rest of the tracks on 800 Miles all really fall into a similar stoner, blues rock category, however they are played with vigour and authority and truth be told there are no real let downs in any of the nine tracks included.
800 Miles maybe isn't the most ambitious album you will come across this year, however it does hit home as a genuine hard rocking, yet satisfyingly subtle addition to a growing genre and one that has the ability to stand out from the pack.
1. The Only Thing I Have
2. The Big Black Hole
3. No Soul
5. Dead man's Blues
8. Away From The Planet
9. Water In My Wine
Added: March 28th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
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