Greenleaf – Rise Above The Meadow

Teaching a frog to wink; juggling smoke; watching ‘Family Guy’; describing what Greenleaf sound like…. pointless pursuits, every last one of them. If the name Greenleaf and the fact the band hail from Sweden hasn’t told you everything you need to know already, then I’m afraid you may be in the wrong place, but for the uninitiated, we’re talking thunderous fuzzed-up guitars cranking slinky, bottom-heavy stoner riffs with more meat on them than James Corden. Tracking the many incestuous lineup changes that have occurred over the years would be an even bigger waste of precious time, suffice to say this is almost the same quartet that put out 2014’s ‘Trails & Passes’, with Arvid Jonsson tackling vocals for a second time, and founder and sole constant member Tommi Holappa roping in Dozer bandmate Johan Rockner on bass. Musically little has changed too – the band still play the same Sabbath-worshipping tripped-out retro blues they always have – but they sound tighter, lusher, deeper, warmer, the continuity in the band clearly paying dividends in the song writing. Tracks like opener ‘A Million Fireflies’ and ‘Tyrants Tongue’ swell and pop like bubbles in a tar pit, while the pumping ‘You’re Gonna Be My Ruin’ and ‘Golden Throne’ harness and enhance the urgent, driving blues energy of two-pieces like God Damn and media-darlings Royal Blood, allowing space for slower numbers such as ‘Howl’ and ‘Levitate & Bow’ to embrace you in a gentle soporific purple haze. A solid dose of riff-heavy fuzz, and another achingly good entry in the long and celebrated history of Swedish stoner rock.


Categories: Album Reviews, Reviews

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