Posted in Whathaveyou on January 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Långfinger and Captain Crimson both put out records this past autumn in a one-two punch of high-grade next-gen Swedish heavy rock. Next month, the Small Stone labelmates — from Gothenburg and Örebro, respectively — are pairing up for a round of mostly-German tour dates put together by Total Volume Booking that will find them supporting those new albums and continuing to bring their long-simmering underground reputations to turning more heads on the road. I would not expect this to be either band’s final announcement for 2017 in terms of shows and/or festivals — that’s just speculation, not insider info or anything — because it seems to me that the longer time goes on, it’s just more opportunity for Crossyears (review here) and Remind (review here) to catch on.
Dates come courtesy of Långfinger‘s social medias, other info from Small Stone. One likes to properly source these things:
We’ve teamed up with fellow swedes Captain Crimson for February’s central European tour. The earthquake starts on Feb 15. Prepare yourselves for swedish rock n roll deluxe, multiplied by two!
Feb 15 – Kiel (DE) @ Die Kieler Schaubude Feb 16 – Berlin (DE) @ Jägerklause Berlin Feb 17 – Den Helder (NL) @ Rockcafé de Engel Feb 18 – Siegen (DE) @ Vortex Surfer Musikclub Feb 19 – Antwerp (BE) @ AMC (Antwerp Music City) Feb 21 – Cologne (DE) @ Limes Köln Feb 23 – Mannheim (DE) @ Kurzbar Feb 24 – Luzern (CH) @ The Bruch Brothers
Långfinger, from the fertile rock ‘n’ roll city of Gothenburg, are masters of the art. They’ve been playing together since they were in their early teens, and their third album, called ‘Crossyears’, is both the thrilling culmination of their collective endeavour, and a rumination on it – on how Time has shaped them and brought them to this point. Within its hard-hitting grooves, the interlocking of Långfinger’s three disparate characters – Kalle, the unflappable, precision axeman; Jesper, the athletic sticksman battering out physical revenge on his kit; and Victor, the intense, exploratory spirit, bridging thundering bass and howling exorcism – is a magical proposition.
Formed in 2010 by vocalist Stefan Lillhager, formerly of Blowback, Captain Crimson draws inspiration from the classic sounds of The Groundhogs, Blue Cheer, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Jethro Tull and Cactus, meeting heavy boogie head-on with a modern swagger that has carried over to their latest and third album, Remind – their first for Small Stone Records. Make no mistake: Captain Crimson’s latest is nothing less than a testament to the timeless power of groove, of memorable choruses that take you back to when you felt such things deep in your soul, and indeed offer a reminder that you still can and that you still do.
It’s hard to convey without actually listening to it just quite how wholesome the sound of Captain Crimson winds up being. The four-piece from the familiar terrain of Örebro, Sweden, issued their third album, Remind (review here), last month on Small Stone, and their new clip for “Love Street,” which finds them rocking out basically warehouse-style amid rhythmic editing that seems to ride the track’s easygoing groove, underscores the point well. Their sound is both familiar and their own, their hook is unassuming, and the lyric, about taking “a ride down Love Street” — which let’s just assume is an actual place being written about — is sweet enough to have come from 1956.
Of course, Captain Crimson wouldn’t be the first Swedish band to indulge nostalgia, but that’s not really what’s happening on Remind, or at very least not in what’s become the expected manner of vintage gear and ’70s-style boogie. I think some elements of that would be largely unavoidable at this point coming from where they are and in the age they are, but Captain Crimson‘s modernity is pervasive in their production and while the songwriting beneath relies on time-tested structures in the straightforward changes between verses and choruses, the ideal toward audience engagement in a get-down-to-business-and-do-it-right kind of way speaks to the lack of time to waste. Frankly, there’s nothing more modern than that.
So they hit on their blend throughout the record, and it might come across as confused aesthetically were it not for the cohesiveness of their approach to it and the current of songwriting, both of which find emphasis in “Love Street.” All the better then they should have a video for it, and one that also gets to the point of what it’s all about: the good things that can happen when the right combination of people and ideas come together.
More info from the PR wire follows the clip below.
Captain Crimson, “Love Street” official video
Last month, Swedish blues rock collective CAPTAIN CRIMSON released their delightfully riff-laden Remind full-length via Small Stone. A genuine testament to the timeless power of groove and of memorable choruses that take you back to when you felt such things deep in your soul, CAPTAIN CRIMSON manifest the kind of rock and roll that speaks to the essence of the form.
In commemoration of its release comes the visual companion to Remind super boogie, road rager “Love Street.” “‘Love Street’ is the third track on our new record, Remind,” the band reflects of the tune. “It was the last track that got written and it’s also the shortest one on the record. But it shows off everything that CAPTAIN CRIMSON is all about! It’s got a heavy blues rock feeling with a groovy rhythm section, big chorus, a ripping guitar solo and bluesy vocals. In the video we try to capture the raw live feeling we had when we recorded the album and how much fun we have while playing together as CAPTAIN CRIMSON.”
Remind is out now on CD, digitally, and limited edition vinyl formats. Orders are available at THIS LOCATION where you can also stream the record in full. Additionally, you can sample the band’s video for “Bells From The Underground” RIGHT HERE.
[Click play above to stream Captain Crimson’s Remind in full. Album is out Friday, Oct. 14, on Small Stone Records.]
Swedish four-piece Captain Crimson make their debut on Small Stone Records with their third album, Remind. It’s a record that begs the question of just what we’re being reminded. Comprised of 10 boogie-laden, grooving, swinging, catchy tracks, it follows just two years behind 2014’s Ageless Time (on Moving Air and Nasoni) and four behind the band’s 2012 Dancing Madly Backwards debut that found them paying so strongly to their namesakes in Captain Beyond and King Crimson.
Now working with the lineup of vocalist Stefan Lillhager (ex-Blowback), guitarist Andreas Eriksson, bassist Chris David and drummer/organist Mikael Läth, the Örebro natives have come unquestionably into their own throughout these tracks, moving well beyond the ‘70s worship for which their hometown is so known in favor of a full sound, marking a less dramatic shift than that of, say, Witchcraft, but mostly because Captain Crimson were less of a directly vintage mindset to start with. In any case, what they arrive with on Remind is a 42-minute collection of tightly written, smoothly executed cuts that seem to be vying with each other to occupy space in the listener’s consciousness.
Will it be “Black Rose” or “Let Her Go” stuck in someone’s head? I don’t know, but there’s a good chance that something here will hit a nerve among the converted, as Captain Crimson favor quality songcraft over the trappings of hyper-stylization, and so have no need of the latter as they make their way through, energetically and deftly using the momentum of one track to push through the next.
In the album’s ultimate affect, it feels ahead of the curve in such a way as to recall (which is not to say “remind”) of young-gun countrymen rockers and labelmates Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus, who made their debut in 2011 and have followed a similar stylistic trajectory in taking what more vintage-minded outfits have been able to accomplish over the last decade-plus and carry it forward, blending with ’90s influences, yes, but coming across with something new from that mixture.
In the case of Captain Crimson, there are elements at play in early pieces like opener “Ghost Town” or “Bells from the Underground,” which immediately follows and is the longest inclusion at 5:29, that tie them further into the long legacy of quality Swedish heavy rock; most notably in what they’re able to do with the hooks of these songs and the ease of their transitions one might liken their work here to Greenleaf‘s earlier days, or specifically for “Bells from the Underground,” from some of what Astrosoniq had on offer with their last outing, Quadrant, at least on some superficial level, but neither does Remind lack its own personality.
The 10 tracks break evenly onto two neatly-structured vinyl sides, and though each song seeks to deliver an impact, and succeeds on one level or another, they tie together fluidly as well, as one can hear in the crisp jive of “Love Street,” on which Eriksson‘s guitar leads a strut bolstered by layered vocals in the chorus and punchy bass, and the subsequent “Black Rose,” which pulls back on some of the thrust initially to lock in a sleek, classically metallic groove, easily turns into an acoustic break, and emerges with newfound vigor to lead to the side A closer “Money.”
Bluesier licks permeate, backed by serene organ flourish, and a flowing jam ensues, more patient than any of the faces Captain Crimson have yet shown, and so a decent setup for some of side B’s expansion of the album’s overall scope. Of course, before they get there, it’s only fair to match “Money” with a barnburner, and “Drifting” opens Remind‘s second half in raucous form, effectively reestablishing the momentum of “Ghost Town” as side B begins to unfold.
There’s some twang underlying the title-track, which follows, but the focus remains on the chorus, cleanly realized with push coming from Läth‘s kick drum, a prominent but not ever really out of place element across the record. Stomp suits Captain Crimson, and “Let Her Go,” with its blues-inflected harmonica (a guest performance from Timo Tilli), backs that up, finding a comfortable pace that allows them to continue to spread out their sound from its foundation of craft and structure in subtle and intriguing ways that become clearer on repeat listens. Then there’s the more drastic change brought on by the penultimate “Alone.”
Almost snuck in before closer “Senseless Mind” reaffirms the decades-spanning stylistic meld, the acoustic-led alone offers Lillhager a showcase in which to shine and he does not disappoint. With vocals and guitar, Captain Crimson depart from the rest of the album toward a different level of emotional resonance, but the presentation is still clear, and there’s never any sense of control lost.
Maybe “Senseless Mind” is meant to work as a reaction to that, or maybe it’s just the drastic contrast between the final two songs, but the ending feels especially riotous by the time it’s over. Before that, like “Black Rose” earlier, it cuts to a quieter interlude, but when the four-piece slam into the final thrust, there’s little doubt the apex has been reached. Like the record as a whole, they telegraph their intentions there, but three albums in, I don’t think there’s anything one could call to question in their intentions.
They clearly know what they’re doing, in the construction of their material, in putting together a record, and in filtering out anything that doesn’t best serve the song at hand. That makes Remind a strong depiction of a group who’ve clearly hit their stride, and leaves one to suppose that perhaps the title is referring to how much of a force such a group can be when captured at their best.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 9th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
Heads up on a good record. The third from Swedish outfit Captain Crimson, Remind, is also their first for Small Stone and it’ll be out on Oct. 14. You don’t really need to know much more than that at this point, though the PR wire certainly has more to offer in the bio I wrote, and with the lyric video for “Bells from the Underground,” you can get a sense of how these guys have really outgrown the influences in their moniker to come into their own sound this time. The album plays out a lot like that. Memorable songs, quality performance, light on frills but heavy on quality. Will be worth your time, easily.
Preorders are up now through Small Stone‘s Bandcamp. Dig it:
CAPTAIN CRIMSON: Swedish Blues Rockers To Release Third Full-Length, Remind, Via Small Stone; “Bells From The Underground” Lyric Video Posted
The Swedish hotbed of Örebro has already produced the likes of Truckfighters, Graveyard, Witchcraft, and Blues Pills. Prepare to add CAPTAIN CRIMSON to this exceptional tradition.
Forged in 2010 by vocalist Stefan Lillhager, formerly of Blowback, CAPTAIN CRIMSON draws inspiration from the classic sounds of The Groundhogs, Blue Cheer, Jethro Tull, Cactus, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, meeting heavy boogie head-on with a modern swagger that has carried over to their latest and third album, Remind – their first for Small Stone Records. Remind follows their 2012 debut, Dancing Madly Backwards, which led them onto their first tour that Fall. Emerging with the lineup of Lillhager, bassist/backing vocalist Chris David (ReinXeed), guitarist Andreas Eriksson, and drummer/organist Mikael Läth, CAPTAIN CRIMSON earned rave reviews for their blues riffing and killer hooks, and they did what any band worth their salt would: They kept touring.
Their second offering, 2014’s Ageless Time, aligned them to Moving Air Music and Nasoni Records and once again put them on the road. On the LP, they showcased a multifaceted songwriting process, benefiting from the contributions of each player working together to bolster the strengths of the whole, and with a stopgap jam session in Stockholm captured on a 2015 digital EP (fittingly titled A Chaotic Jam Session In Stockholm), they make their way into Remind having fully realized their vision of modern classic rock.
Make no mistake: CAPTAIN CRIMSON’s latest is nothing less than a testament to the timeless power of groove, of memorable choruses that take you back to when you felt such things deep in your soul, and indeed offer a reminder that you still can and that you still do. It is the kind of rock and roll that speaks to the essence of the form, and we think that when all is said and done, it’s one of the best records ever to arrive with a Small Stone logo on it.
Remind will be released on October 14th, 2016 on CD, digitally and limited edition vinyl. Preorder your copy today at THIS LOCATION where you can also sample opening track “Ghost Town.”
Remind Full-Length 1. Ghost Town 2. Bells From The Underground 3. Love Street 4. Black Rose 5. Money 6. Drifting 7. Remind 8. Let Her Go 9. Alone 10. Senseless Mind