Electric Woodland believe there is still room for innovation within the classic rock genre. But over the decades of its existence, surely everything has been done? However, in a similar way to the likes of Them Crooked Vultures, the Norwegian five piece have woven classic rock with moody strands of blues and emerged with a style that may tempt you to whip out your air guitar for a quick jam.
Opening track 'Midnight Treasure' slowly ticks into life, gradually building before stomping onwards with a grinding riff. The harmonised guitar lead that concludes the track sings beautifully, laid over a chord progression that doesn't necessarily take an expected form. 'Sharp Angle' hosts a satisfyingly rhythmic approach characterized by muted guitars during the verses, before venturing onto the hi-hat-centric drum parts of the chorus, instilling power and fervour into the quintet's music. Once again rounded off in style, Electric Woodland sure do know how to go out with a bang!
'Another Brick In Your Puzzle' naturally accommodates the addition of a banjo to the classic rock identity; not an instrument that will always fit convincingly unless it is used appropriately. Guitarist Peder Kjaernli takes centre stage for this track, capably handling the group's lead vocal duties. As he meanders through the verses, his soulful voice bears similarity to that of Chris Cornell and warms the sound of the Scandinavian rockers. The spoken style of finale 'Manimal' gives the track quite an intimate feel, with the courting verses divided by melodious choruses.
Electric Woodland may be pursuing a style that is forty years long gone, but they have done a commendable job of shaping their classic rock sound. There are occasional instances where the instruments lack unity, but such recording criticisms are to be expected in early releases. It is not overly original, but it is a solid EP nonetheless. Miss the good old days of classic rock? Take a stroll down to the Electric Woodland.