Ett Rop På Hjälp – Hur svår ska det vara? (2012) by Mik Kerttunen
Finally this catchy talented Swedish Heavy rock/Hardrock band got an album released. I discovered them back in 2010 and loved their brand of high quality catchy heavy hardrock in the vein of Black Sabbath and Grand Funk Railroad. Their Heavy yet clear sound comes from the fact that the guys use Fender amps instead of the 70’s retro norm: Marshall or similar. Vocals are in Swedish and remind me personally of Swedish punk band Ebba Grön’s singer Thåström yet not as whinney as the namesake. The lyrics are good and thought provoking and focus on contempoary topics.
I personally love(d) the demo songs ”Följ Mitt Live” (Follow My Life) and ”Gemene Man” (Common man), the former has made it onto this debut album in a slightly more rushed version. The heaviness and raw fuzzy edge of the demo era is still present and the emphesis on this album is on longer more psychedelic songs with the before said Heavy 70’s style hardrock as base. You have almost progressive like structures in many songs but thankfully it leans more towards psychedelia than progressive rock (which I personally appreciate much more). The vocals give a Swdish post punk kind of vibe which also mirrors in the lyrics. These guys might have a punk past which is amalgated into the Heavy 70’s riffing?. A very original and personal style in anycase. This should work well here in Sweden, provided people get to hear this.
This album is a work of talent and originality unlike any of those other 70’s inspired bands outthere who seem to focus more (read : entirely) on clothing, nice retro guitars and amps than the most important thing: good songwriting. Ett Rop På Hjälp ( A Call For Help) like their fellow westcoast SWE psych /hardrock bands Centralstödet and A Sense Of Blue Cream focus on original personality filled songwriting and basically toss the posing aspect entirely. Because these bands ignore image and focus on songwriting they don’t get the limelight like say, lesser SWE bands like say Graveyard or that Dungen for instance, bands which are in my opinion overrated at best.
The thing working against Ett Rop På Hjälp is of course the name, the lack of image and use of Swedish. But I have the feeling the band doesn’t give a hoot (kudos to them I say!).This album will stand on it’s own years after those other 70’s retro bands discs are gathering dust in 2nd hand cd/Lp shops. Good songwriting and playing always passes the test of time. Any collector can attest to that.
This album is a very solid debut and each song contains lots of great riffs and tasteful ideas from downright Heavy cruncher riffs to suttle psychedelic moves combined with tasteful execution from the individual musicians. I’m proud to have supported Ett Rop På Hjälp for years and have had enough taste to appreciate their good music unlike many of my so called 70’s music expert colleages.
Hear this album om spotify or buy the album. Hur svårt ska det vara? (How hard can it be?) Is a solid debut and I think the next disc isn’t going to be any worst.. I can see the flared pants, lava lamp in rehearsal room, Orange amped crowd green with envy while spinning this disc. The lesson here is: write good original catchy songs and take time to work on your songs until they really are worth recording. Lets hope this album gets the recogniztion it deserves..
Mik Kerttunen (former editor of Golden Void Fanzine)