The latest release from Sweden’s Deadheads is a sonic smart bomb of soulful rockers, a short, sharp, shock of awe. The album is a powerful statement of intent and leaves a lasting bittersweet taste of the end of summer and the coming of darker days.
Kicking off the album with “There’s a Hole in the Sky”, the band produces a snappy three chord mission statement of rock that resonates with the spirit of Jim Morrison and Ian Astbury being channelled by the vocals of Manne Olander. The guitars cut through the mix in fine style to provide an energetic background for a call against global warming.
“Out of Here” is another high-tempo workout with a great beat by drummer Tim Ferm. The bass runs by Sigge Palmén Unger also lock down this electric track and the whole of the album showcases how good this guy really is. The song also has a brilliant breakdown where the guitars of Olander and Rickard Hellgren evoke early Thin Lizzy.
“Shine On” follows and this has an interesting mid-paced feel and an absolute killer chorus. The guitar work is also outstanding with the breaks melting into the vocal lines like shards of glass.
My favourite track of the album is “Empty Howles”, a soulful shuffle of emotion that illustrates that Olander is an exceptional vocalist akin to Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons. In fact, the whole album fits with what Rival Sons has been producing in the last few years and certainly (no pun) rivals The Great Western Valkyrie album in terms of power and passion.
Next to follow is “Let Loose the Fools”. This track is fast paced and pounding, with a great chorus where keyboards come to the fore. Absolutely loved the drumming on this sucker and it is another favourite of mine. Love the title too, although I have no idea what it is about.
“The Need to Sleep” breathes the same air as old Iron Maiden (ala Killers) in its back to basics approach to riffing and guitar duelling. The energy is really high and moves the mid-point of the album to the red zone.
Additional songs on the album include “When Blood Runs Out”, “What’s True” and “The Horror”, which are not as strong as the other tracks, conjuring up early D-A-D but without really standing out. These are not bad songs, but Deadheads did set the bar high early on in this release.
However, the band saves the game in the fourth quarter with “UCP” which is all brooding tension, paired with incredible singing, bass runs and guitars that splinter into the universe. I absolutely love this song and it is a fitting ending to an album that gets better each time I listen to it.
Loadead is a record that put the passion back into rock and is a huge grower. The only criticism I have is that the drum sounds are not as high in the mix as I would like and a boost in this sonic area would really propel the album into classic status with a heart the size of the world. Sweden rocks – and then some!
BUY: Deadheads – Loadead (Mp3-Oct 30, 2015 / CD-Dec 04, 2015)