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Graveyard - Lights Out (Nuclear Blast Records)

By: David E. Gehlke

[8/10] Lights Out is the type of record presently being spun at record stores across the globe. The hipsters manning the register probably can’t hide their hard-ons for something like this, for it’s the utter definition of cool…whatever that means in this day and age. Too bad the 14.59 mark is approaching for retro rock, but methinks there aren’t very many true mealllers who could complain if bands like Graveyard, Rival Sons, and Witchcraft hung around for a few more years. This type of rock is about as inoffensive a style as one could find.

The third album for the Swedes, Lights Out comes hot on the heels of last year’s well-received Hisingen Blues. Perhaps privy to the notion that stock for 70’s-minded bands has never band higher, Graveyard’s fast turnaround helps create a nice little complementary scenario for both albums, as Lights Out gets down with the virtually the same on-acid-while-spinning-CCR hustle and bustle of its predecessor. There’s no real difference between the two. Not like their fanbase would notice anyway.

Good times are hard across the board on opener “An Industry of Murder,” a song that sees guitarist/vocalist Joakim Nilsson take more charge than he has in the past, resulting in what could be the band’s most firebrand song to date. The mellow “Slow Motion Countdown” is reflective jam, made for those endless nights when the drugs simply won’t run out (if they do…oh no!), while “Seven Seven” sees Nilsson get his best John Fogerty on. The best jam here is “The Suits, the Law, the Uniforms,” which is the slickest Three Dog Night song never released, a virtually shoe-in for FM radio if this were the bell-bottom shaking 70’s.

Age-defying albums such as Lights Out make the retro rock onslaught worthwhile. If the songs stunk, we’d be singing a much different tune, yet the bulk of the numbers that comprise Lights Out make the regular punter want to hop into an El Camino and let the good times roll. Graveyard seems like a cool bunch dudes...maybe Blistering can up its profile and hang...

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