The Brimstone Days – We Are The Brimstone Days …   Leave a comment

I don’t know what the trick is with these young Swedish guys from The Brimstone Days.

The very first time I heard their debut full-length album in my fakepod in the middle of a gloomy stormy winter day, the snow stopped falling, the wind calmed down, the cars let me cross the road on the zebra crossing without hooting with anger, the bus arrived on time and I found a ten euro banknote on the ground! Hahaha, the only invented thing is the one about the banknote, but the overall feeling was that lighthearted and surprisingly joyful …

The Brimstone Days make sun shine, definitely. These three guys from Malmö, Skåne län, Sweden, are surely hungry for sun, light and friendly nature, if one has to judge from the happy-jolly-“southern” decorations, rainbows and bright-coloured (even blinding yellow) clothes adopted by the band’s guys, as in artworks and photos posted on their website and printed on the CD cover.

Also, give a look to what they write as a dreamy bio on myspace, inspired by a butterfly:

“There is one being that is regarded to be one of the most beautiful things on this planet. With wings so colorful that is blows your mind away The Brimstone Butterfly stuns anyone that has the privilege to see it. One cannot watch this perfect creation without letting their mind be free nor will the mind be free until the butterfly has been seen. The Butterfly spread her yellow wings and uses the wind like an element of her own. The sun try to cast a shadow of envy on the Butterfly, but even something as powerful as the sun will see itself in pity when this useless attempts are made. Once every year for a glimpse of a moment the world stands frozen as this day all the Brimstone Butterflies joins in a ceremony above everything else. This day all the Butterflies spread their wings and set out for the sky, creating a yellow cloud of love and therefore creating the one day were love is surrounding us all. This day should not go under any other name then The Brimstone Days.”

Too much sugar, do you think? Well, you just have to listen to them.

Really joyful and incredibly vigorous feelings are transferred to you via their infectious musical style. These sweet jolly guys play a super catchy type of garage-styled rock reminding me (and not only me) so much of other bands I love, more or less from those latitudes, such as Baby Woodrose, On Trial, Dollhouse and the hardest moments in Dragontears, but without the psychedelic component. They also remind me of Year Long Disaster of the early, best times …

The band is young but did experience some line-up rearrangement. Present-day band members are founders Håkan Lanz (on guitar and oustandingly rich vocals) and Johannes Malmqvist (on drums) with Hampus Hallgard (on bass and backing vocals), the latter replacing original bassist Elias Dellow who left after the recording of the debut 2009 EP (duly called Flowers and Rainbows).

The debut 2009 EP Flowers and Rainbows was a half-bloomed but very promising bud which has been shared by the band on the webzine PlanetFuzz. Those raw tracks showed the great potential of these guys in making some absolutely light-hearted but irresistible, groovy, up-beat rock with surely modern sounds (and, eventually production) but nicely flavoured with retro-tunes, i.e. rock from the 70’s, and carrying loads of groove from funk as well. A rock style to be enjoyed in live exhibitions, a kind of “retro rock with a modern twist to dance with”, as noted on The Soda Shop.

And this trio did absolutely play live! If you visit their myspace page you’ll see an impressive amount of live dates throughout 2009 and 2010.

By looking at the photos of these three young guys in the folder of the new album or posted in their webpages, you may be fooled by their apparently frail appearance (the Italian auntie in me would say “ Håkan, Hampe, c’mon lads, eat some more pasta!”) or by the toy drum held by Johannes on his lap and the studio looking like a coach room messed up by children. It’s a gentle, almost kiddy face of rock they seem to show.

But these guys know how to make your blood happily boil!

Håkan’s voice is unique, hot, powerful and versatile. Surely Håkan is the heart of the band with his peculiar voice and the pleasantly raw guitar. However clearly bass and drums are clearly audible and balanced, no less powerful, ther choirs are extremely catchy and all of this contribuites to the building-up of nicely varied and tireless rhythms that make you shake also at the bus stop under the rain …

The debut album, We Are The Brimstone Days, shares some tracks with the 2009 EP, i.e, Float Away, Confusion and Get it On. But in the new album these tracks are re-recorded at higher quality and of course re-interpreted with the new line-up and with, definitley, a much tighter, great vocal performance by Håkan.

The album has a very short intro announcing the band and the start of the show. The last “official” track is called like the album, We re The Brimstrone Days, but it is actually a farewell, and even Håkan’s voice is veined by a slight melancholia. There is a final ghost track which is mostly silent apart from the voice closing with the story of the butterfly reported above. But you are really sorry that the album is finished. Well, sometimes 35 minutes may be unbearably long, but in this case, sorry, guys, I am protesting because but the album is far too short!!!

Inbetween the intro and the farewell tracks there are nine songs varying from, let’s say, faster, energetic garage rock to more mellow, slightly poppy retro-rock. I must say, I dig both trends/styles, all the tracks have cool, catchy refrains that get stuck in your head. Easy-listening rock for sure but never “flat”.

The sounds are definitely clean but there’s a dose of retro rawness that prevents that amount of poppy component from turning into sugary tunes. And an additional retro touch is given by the occasional use of keyboard, like in track Electric Blue.

Basically I liked the album in a whole, and it has been spinning countless times sofar, together with the tracks from the 2009 EP.
The official video of the eponymous track, We The Brimstone Days, is garage rock, well, filmed in a garage! It’s a cute Ikea-style video where two sport freinds help the rockers in furnishing a space looking like an empty garage for the exhibition! Again, a very gentle, non-aggressive, sympathetic attitude adopted by these dudes.

But, watch out, ladies, don’t think they are completely harmless! When I asked Håkan where one can get the lyrics of their tracks, Håkan replied: “Eh eh! The lyrics are secret and we keep them all written on our t-shirts!”

So, ladies, if you want the lyrics, you have to rip those t-shirts off the guys, hahaha!

I’m sure the volcanic energy in these guys will come out during the gigs. For example I’m quite envious of those up in Sweden who will be next week at the gig with The Brimstone Days, Crystal Caravan and another very cool young retro rock band, Lugnoro, recently signed to the brand new Swedish label Ozium Records.

The  2009 EP is available for free download from PlanetFuzz. The debut album is distributed through Record Heaven but can be purchased as digital format from I-tunes, Amazon.com, Emusic.com, tradebit.com and about 30 more digital stores.

So in spite of the fact that this debut album was released rather recently (release party in November 2010) and the guys are quite busy, I’m here eagerly waiting for a substantial (and I mean, substantial …) quantity of new happy cool raaawk tunes like a hungry baby vulture with my vast beak wide open ……  9/10

Review by Marilena Moroni (Mari)

Brimstone Days Official

The Brimstone Days @ Myspace

The Brimstone Days @ Facebook

Buy The Album At Record Heaven
Buy the album on Record Heaven or check on the above webpages for various digital purchases.

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Posted January 19, 2011 by doommantia in The Brimstone Days

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