Review by Dave Smiles
Right from the opening riff of Mad Dog it’s obvious this band from Sweden is taking us into classic seventies rock inspired territory here. This band has an obvious love of the hard driving heavy riffs of bands like Cream, T Rex, Heart, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy and it’s capped off with an easy-on-the-ears female vocalist, Ann-Sofie Hoyles. The song clocks in just under two and a half minutes and is followed up by the album’s title track. They sound like they’ve been performing this type of music for longer than they’ve been alive. But while many of the remaining bands from the era are starting to show signs of age, this band sounds fresh and inspired. This is the kind of music people gathered around record players and digested together, trying to decipher the meanings to the lyrics. This one has a killer instrumental section with some blistering guitar and harmonica work.
Bleeding Heart kicks it off with that melodic Thin Lizzy-inspired riffing that people instantly associate with Seventies rock. It’s infectious and a welcome change to some of the ‘over-playing’ a lot of bands have come to rely on. Sometimes it’s the rests that bring a riff to light.
There’s been an increase in female fronted bands in both rock and metal in the past ten years. Ann-Sofie Hoyles vocals on Only Your Skin are hypnotic and fit perfectly with John Hoyles guitar riffing. Her voice also brings out a haunting quality during Lonely Nights, which can only go towards strengthening the attention the listener gives to the story she’s telling. The guitar solo on this one is quick, simple and straight to the point. Nothing to prove, just serving the story.
Back on The Streets really gives the rhythm section, Olle Griphammar on bass and Ricard Harryson on drums a chance to shine. They provide the solid background through all these songs that help to bring the riffs and vocals together into the unique style Spiders have. Much like the track Shake Electric, this one has a great instrumental section.
Control is an all-out rocker that quickly shakes off it’s influences of Sabbath, Zeppelin and Purple and gets down to the business of saying “we’re Spiders and we’re here to bite“. This one could be a single, it could really shake things up for the music world. Give Up The Fight is from those days of old when music was thought provoking and meant something; while not going down the melancholy road so many have taken since the nineties.
Hard Times takes things down a bit for a reflective blues. Hoyles’ vocals are infectious and soothing as she takes us down a road into the past that everyone can relate to. War Of The World closes out the album. A rocking track with some slick changes.
This is the second full length album from the Swedish four piece, following up from 2012’s Flash Point. The band’s style of getting straight to the point has most songs done and dusted in under three minutes, but what they achieve in so little time is sure to leave a lasting impression.