12

Rollin' and Tumblin'

The sounds on this album by Swedish rock band Blowback will be recognisable to anyone who has owned anything released by Black Sabbath or their followers such as Cathedral or Fu Manchu. That sound is the unfashionable yet conversely never out of fashion fuzzed up blues rock with a dash of psychedelia that had its first wave of prominence on both sides of the Atlantic from the period when Zeppelin broke big until punk appeared. This might sound like a stylistic limitation on Blowback's behalf but these strictures merely put focus on the solid song-writing on display on 'Eight Hundred Miles'.

Without ever straying too far from a narcotic mid-tempo the foursome throw in enough memorable moments to mark this release out from the over-populated swamp of rock revivalists skirting the margins of today's rock scene. Opener 'The Only Thing I Have' pulls no punches with its heavy bottom end and lolloping drums. Standout track 'The Big Black Hole' follows and whilst getting close to power ballad territory, is just a belter of a tune. 'The Big Black Hole' evokes Black Sabbath at their more lysergic, think 'Planet Caravan' meets 'The Wizard' with Seb's echoey vocals and the lumbering blues jam that accompanies him. The harmonica based boogie continues on up-tempo, good time boozer 'No Soul'. A satisfying trawl through the mile wide grooves of the 1970's is opening up here. 'Butterfly' is much like the eyes closed, mouth open atmosphere of Down's greater moments. 'Dead Man Blues', 'Away From The Planet' and 'Water In My Wine' sound, well much like the previous efforts dust laden riff rock. This predictability mostly engenders thoughtless enjoyment as each riff, solo and drum fill is exactly where you'd expect to find it. 'Eight Hundred Miles' is, in many ways, very comforting - like a night spent in with your vinyl and a spliff.

This is music that never really went away it just floated from the charts and arenas back to the grimy clubs it came from yet continues to pop up in bands from Sweden to Ireland and Japan and everywhere in between. An enduring appeal you might say. Blowback carry it off well and like fellow Swedes Graveyard have made a record worthy of it's position in the racks between Black Sabbath and Clutch.