Now, if we were to judge a country by its musical output I would expect Sweden to be populated by heavily moustachioed long haired dudes in denim and super hot chicks in ass hugging flares and clingy t-shirts…and what an amazing place it would be!!! Alongside bands such as Graveyard, Witchcraft, Asteroid, Honcho…etc it would seem that the 70’s were an era to venerate and rejoice in and Thalamus are no exception.
Apparently named after a part of the brain and not some obscure Greek God as I first thought, Thalamus have turned out this excellent retro thinking EP of top quality hairy rocking goodness seemingly from out of nowhere. The distinct presence of Hakan Danielsson’s organ will draw immediate comparisons to Deep Purple and these wouldn’t be unfounded. In fact where most bands will aim for the earlier more progressive sounds of the classic mark two Purple patch, Thalamus plant themselves pretty firmly in the more funky yet rifftastic mark three and four eras with a nod to early Whitesnake and maybe a little of Dio era Rainbow’s more straight up rocking moments…basically anything that sprouts from the Purple tree!!! That said, although the riffs and tunes may be pure retro joy, the sound is entirely modern tipping a definite nod towards some of Spiritual Beggars’ classic earlier moments. In fact vocalist/guitarist Kjell Bergendahl possesses that familiar higher register yet throaty tone that the Beggar’s Spice made his own.
Opening track, “Hope You Understand” is a driving tumble of up tempo bluesy riffs…all beards, flares and Les Pauls to the fore…whereas “Breathe Easy” brings the groove and would have sat pretty comfortably on Purple’s criminally underrated “Come Taste The Band” album with Bergendahl’s vocals approaching the lofty heights of Glenn Hughes in parts. “Black Day Sunday” twists on a riff that seems to fold back on itself but never loses sight of the groove but its final track “Early Morning Leave” that stands out as the band ease back on the gas and walk a more contemplative soulful path, complete with some sexy female vocals.
Admittedly there are an awful lot of bands pulling from the influence of the 70’s but for me this was the golden era for music where experimentalism was rife and influences were so vast, I welcome all of it…bring on the past!!! Thalamus do stand out as doing this particularly well and should be applauded for not just rehashing a million Sabbath riffs. My only complaint is…5 tracks??? I want an album as I could listen to this stuff all day…I guess I’ll just have to dig out my copy of “Burn”!!!!
Label: SOCJ Music
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall