Death by hammond
Quick Fix is the 11th album from Swedish outfit Baltimoore in this their twentieth year of existence. I can't fathom out how I’ve never come across them before, Im obviously slipping in my old age! They are led by the distinctive (and Marmite type vocals, you’ll either love it or hate it) of Björn Lodin, a man of many trades as he wrote, engineered and produced the album in question from his home. One thing you immediately latch onto is the unmistakeable sound of the Hammond Organ, courtesy of Örjan Fernkvist, giving Baltimoore a definite vintage sound of the 70s and 80s when most UK rock bands utilised the Hammond to its best ability - Purple/ Whitesnake / etc. This definitely gives Quick Fix more of a melodic edge to the songs. In addition there is a new rhythm section of bassist Björn Lundkvist, and drummer Robban Bäck (both from BALLS, a short lived 2008 band involving Lodin), knit closely with talented newcomer on guitar in the guise of Emanuel Hedberg.
The origins of Quick Fix hark back to early 2008 with a couple of track being of unrealised potential for what was to become the BALLS Chameleon album. Thankfully the version I have to review just contains the songs! I’ll explain, as the retail version contains an instrumental version of each track, no doubt for all you budding YouTube metal exhibitionists. Why not go the other way and offer a raw vocal CD for the budding guitarist etc to play along to
On the cover of Quick Fix, is a dice with choices of: yes, no or maybe. If these are the choices of recommendation dear readers, then the answer is 'maybe.' If you like your melodic rock a bit more bluesy like early era Coverdale/Deep Purple, with vocals of raw and throaty meets gravel, and really dig your old school Hammond organ, then Quick Fix might be right up your cul-de-sac!!
This disc is really a change in direction for Baltimoore as a dual guitar dynamic is replaced with guitar and Hammond organ. The hammond influence is quite wide and deep throughout, and noticed immediately within the first few tracks I'm All About Me and Haze of Wonder. Mostly, the organ presence is masterful , but overwhelms proceedings to the point where my ears are focused to it on almost every single track - mix it up a bit guys for God’s sake. Theres a definite funky vibe being achieved as both ‘I’m All About Me’ and ‘Haze of Wonder’ are take straighr from Mk4/4 Deep Purple school of Glenn Hughes. ‘Make Good’ has a throbbing bass line coupled with the half speed slow head banging riff, making this one of the stand out tracks of the album
So if you like your early era Whitesnake sung by Rod Stewart (bit too much of an example I know) once heard you’ll see what I’m getting at. A solid performance