Tuesday, April 26, 2011

HION MARTELL: "Will Cure Any Disease"

Rating: 7/10

Label: TSM/SLW 2011

Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

First a quick reality check - yep, we're at the calendar year of twenty eleven just prior to the end of the world (December 21st, 2012 is the end of the world according to an ancient Mayan calendar). Merely checking since I got caught up listening to the music of Hion Martell and started having these really strange and utterly weird flashbacks from the seventies rock and glam-scene. This being especially weird since I didn't experience those days??? But I did watch a rather crappy U.K. (BBC?) series about a copper and his 'back to the future' coma journey of the seventies.

The Swedish band Hion Martell (pronounced High on Martell and it's obviously about the cognac) started out back in 1992 influenced by artists and bands like J.J. Cale, The Stones and Lynyrd Skynyrd. "Will Cure Any Disease" is their latest effort and offering to the rock n roll gods. Vocalist/guitarist, Christer Nilsson has sometimes a similar approach to things (vocally) as to the style of Ulf Christiansson's early days with the band, Jerusalem. Simply check out the track, "Built As A Boxer", since it could easily have been a late seventies Jerusalem tune (minus the christian message of course). What might be more notable at times is the comparison that Nilsson's singing has for those aware of yet another couple of Swedish acts, the rock group Atomic Swing and punk/rock band Docenterna.

The styles may sound a bit odd put side by side, but it actually works nicely in the band's favor. Sort of innocent and close to juvenile rock. "Long Distance Love" is a nice ballad in the vein of the Rolling Stones (and Atomic Swing to be honest) and the uptempo track, "Don't Mess", strolls down the same old path of rock n roll. "(Don't Cry) Mary Anne" is yet another Jerusalem (scary alike at times) sounding tune with hammond and marvelous (female) backup vocals in the background. "Any Disease", yep, more of the you-know-what similarities, while "Brand New Day" is like a mixture of Lou Reed and Docenterna (!?). Nice production and not a shabby effort at all really.


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