Friday, May 22, 2009

Baltimoore - Quick Fix

Eleventh album from Swedish veteran Bjorn Lodin, born again yeah yeah yeah with a new line-up and a great gimmick that sees Quick Fix include a bonus instrumental disc for fans to indulge in a bout of karaoke crash n’ burn. Either that or something for the band to indulge in, whiling away the hours on the tour bus in hysterics. Once a member of Ready Steady in those heady late eighties with a dude from Electric Boys, Lodin can belt out some classy hard rock, of the designated classic style, though they can come across better when conducting themselves on the more dextrous moments of musicality. Back with acutely well-christened organist Orjan Fernkvist, who does much to lift this record’s too frequent descents into middle ground, this might not be, well, isn’t, smelted in an arsenal of dum dum biker slugs but combining operatic vocals with a rock-ready stance akin to Bruce Dickinson with Spike’s warmth (well, Ian Gillan?) they’re like a gritty Deep Purple of the Coverdale / Hughes era - the good bits, mind, like Burn and the other snippets, though the similarities are borne right down to new guitarist Emanuel Hedberg's crisp Strat-strut. Though ‘tis when they delve into the eccentricities of their native glaciers, as on The Bet, which boasts a Tull-tastic tussle between flute and guitar sure to set Blackmore’s night ears a-harking, that they really prepare for take-off. That even requisite power ballad, and 12-step tongue-twister How Can You Undo What’s Become Undone, has a great deal of smoke-singed charred charm wins points, just that too usual blues-plods like Make Good and The Shame Lingers On flaunt too much mid-tempo paunch, stumbling unself-consciously bus shelter-ward like a can-crazed old skank. So too lower middlin for this rock snob despite its plus points, but gauge it on how often you get a sudden desire to delve into old Coverdale. As such, that does do it a slight disservice, though if you do then opening cruncher I’m All About Me and soulful shuffle Haze Of Wonder to Somebody Look At Me and sprightly Shoot The Dark put ‘em in credit.
Stu Gibson

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