Review: Young Acid ‘Murder At Maple Mountains’

Young Acid is a new ‘supergroup’ highlighted by members of the beyond-fertile Swedish stoner rock and heavy psych scene, including guitarists Andreas Baier (Vorder, and Besvärjelsen) Alex Stjernfedlt (Grand Cadaver), bassist Martin Wegeland (Domkraft), drummer Svante Karlsson (The Moth Gatherer) and the unmistakable vocals of Greenleaf frontman Arvid Hällagård.

Young Acid 'Murder At Maple Mountains' Artwork
Young Acid ‘Murder At Maple Mountains’ Artwork

Young Acid came together at some point over the last few years and have dropped their debut Murder At Maple Mountain which is evidently themed around the works of Swedish children’s author Astrid Lindgren, she of Pippi Longstocking fame, and with that, the band members all adopted the first name of ‘Mio’ for this recording. With the background of the project out of the way, I’m here to report that this is a completely killer, addictive slice of Swedish fuzzy rock and roll.

Murder At Maple Mountain opens with the third and last pre-release single IntoThe Depths, a raucous yet melodic blast of fuzzy Swedish rock, wherein Hällagård’s instantly recognizable vocals sound warm and comforting, even if it’s slightly jarring hearing him without Greenleaf’s Tommi Holappa’s legendary guitar sound. Bigger Little Man and Fightmaker Street follow the same approach, proffering a driving rock sound and some seriously addictive rolling riffage.

PV 444 is another seriously catchy, fuzzed-out banger with hints of The Murder City Devils in the guitar riffage and some amazingly nuanced, melodic vocal stylings from Hällagård, including his familiar, Josh Homme-esque moans. Woodshed Blues brings the tempo, and the hammer down with some pretty crackling, heavy riffing and some low and slow tempo action, but once we hit the chorus, it’s straight to a hard rocking 70’s driving rock song as once again the vocals are so insanely catchy, it’s impossible to not sing along. Woodshed Blues is a definite highlight of Murder At Maple Mountain and is sequenced pretty much perfectly.

what Young Acid have done is crafted one of the best and most impressive fuzzed-up rock and roll albums of the year…

The second single The Crust turned out to be easily one of my favorite tracks on the album as it boasts some of the catchiest, earworm guitar work I’ve heard all year, both in the riffage and the lead squalls throughout. All of this awesomeness is anchored by Karlsson’s simple, yet deft, bap-bap, bap garage rock beat. The Kids Of Rumble Village is an ass-shaking rock and roller, while Shortcomings And Longstockings revisits some of the more driving, charging fuzz-rock heard at the beginning of the album.

The penultimate Run Boy Run, the third and final single released, is a rumbling, fuzzed-up melodic riffer that serves as the ultimate appetizer for closer 2002, which is an epic, melancholic affair, that recalls some of Greenleaf’s more sonically majestic moments, and is a truly majestic album closer.

I’ve always had a weird affair with Hällagård’s vocals, which is weird as he truly is one of the finest crooners in the entire worldwide stoner rock scene. I’d find myself loving a Greenleaf song, but being distracted wondering what it would sound like with Dozer’s vocalist Fredrik Nordin singing it. Ridiculous I know, but that’s how my mind works. Here, he sounds absolutely fantastic, and with Greenleaf releasing an album too, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see Hällagård show up on not one, but two of the best records of the year.

In researching Murder At Maple Mountain, I kept coming across the words ‘punk rock’ in describing this record. Maybe my opinions of punk rock are different than my Scandinavian friends, as while there may be some elements of punk in the rhythms and some of the riffs, a song like closer 2002 has absolutely nothing to do with that genre as I know it. If anything, what Young Acid have done is crafted one of the best and most impressive fuzzed-up rock and roll albums of the year, with some flourishes of garage rock and ‘90s alt rock. Enthusiastically recommended.

Label: Majestic Mountain Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Martin Williams