Bernard returns to a favourite from a while back
Eighteen months ago I reviewed Gin Lady’s previous album ‘Call The Nation’; I liked it a lot and thought it continued the trend of current Swedish bands that have nailed the classic sound of 70’s guitar rock.
Electric Earth takes all that is good from the last release but adds a west coast influence to proceedings – it works really well. Album opener ‘Flower People’ hints at what is to come and is standard Gin Lady song, featuring a catchy chorus and nice guitar work throughout. However it’s just a warm-up for ‘I’m Your Friend’; this is where the Laurel Canyon sound really takes hold, as it sounds like a classic Crosby, Stills & Nash number with hints of America and Joni Mitchell. It couldn’t be more West Coast if it tried, with lush harmonies and subtle guitar playing it’s a great song. ’Badger Boogie’ is a more straightforward 70’s sounding number, reminiscent of those Old Grey Whistle Test highlight programmes that they regularly show on the BBC featuring Bands that you’d forgotten about but who still sound pretty good. ‘The Things You Used To Do’ is a slow number with a terrific guitar solo underpinned by the keyboards. ‘Mercy’ is one of my favourites on the album – lyrically strong with a vocal performance to match. ‘Brothers Of The Canyon’ is another highlight – brilliant keyboards again provide the launch-pad for the guitar solo intertwined with more harmony vocals – its six minutes long but it still ends too soon. ‘Rolling Thunder’ immediately links the listener to Bob Dylan and The Band and this song is a musical homage to both – it works brilliantly and makes a hatrick of great songs in the middle of the album. ‘Water And Sunshine’ and ‘Wasted Years’ follow and have the classic 70’s guitar sound to such an extent, they should have had Bob Harris introduce them. The album closes with the ballad ‘Running No More’, which has a little bit of late era Beatles in its sound, particularly in the instrumental break that finishes the song.
It’s a pretty short album by modern standards; a good thing as quality is far more important that quantity. Production is good, the song-writing is strong and the vocals and playing throughout make sure that the album delivers on all fronts. So if you preferred OGWT with Whispering Bob presenting, then this is an album for you.