Nov 8, 2010
The Crystal Caravan - Against The Rising Tide
Innovators they are not but this album is pretty hard to knock in any way, the melodies are irresistible and the passion in which the songs are played leave no doubt that The Crystal Caravan know their stuff and have perfected their craft. The opening song, "We’ll Always Lose" is an upbeat, energetic rocker in the vain of Free meets The Black Crowes and it is pretty clear what you are getting here from the outset. "Love And Direction" is a bit heavier sounding like Grand Funk and yes I will be making a lot of comparisons in this review because The Crystal Caravan sounds like a tribute band for the 70's, they are great but I can't find nothing original here at all. The epic sounding "Apple Hotel" sounds like The Who at their peak while "I’m A Stone" sounds like a modern version of Mott The Hoople. Sometimes with bands like these, the influences are only slight inflections but in the case of The Crystal Caravan, the influences come through loud and clear. I must stress it is not a bad thing, this band are great players who deliver the songs with a huge amount of enthusiasm so you can't go wrong here if you still have a taste for vintage 70's hard rock. Another song "Focus" the band take a long walk down the psychedelic path of the late 60's, The Doors are one obvious band that springs to mind while listening to this especially in terms of atmosphere.
The next part of the album didn't do much for me, a couple more songs played in a typical 70's style that just seemed a little bland but hitting the skip button brings you to the best song on the album for me and that is "Wrecking Ball". The Uriah Heep influence is in full flight with glorious guitar solos and energetic performances from everyone within the band, great song. This band are indeed great musicians, if not this album might have been instantly forgettable. Björn Lohmander and Stefan Bränberg are exceptional guitar players with a real talent with some real class and taste and vocalist Niklas “RG” Gustafsson can match it with most of the famous frontmen of the past. Bass player Pierre Svensson has a great sound with all the finesse required for a classic-rock combo. Drummer Christopher Olsson plays with the power of a "Bonham" but with the off-the-wall energy of a "Keith Moon" and that leaves Jonas Lindsköld (Organ) and Annika Bränberg (Percussion) and it is clear that these two are flawless musicians as well. The question remains though is the band really serious ? The Crystal Caravan seem to be more about having fun than trying to make any-kind of artistic statement and that is fine by me and out of 8 songs, 6 are really cooking. I have read that this band is building up quite the reputation as a killer live-act also, go to Youtube to find evidence of that, the band really delivers the goods. If you want to hear an authentic sounding 70's kind of band that makes the likes of Wolfmother sound like total amateurs, this is your band................8/10
The Crystal Caravan @ Myspace
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