A quarter of a century these Swedish roughneck purveyors of hellish boogie have been plying their trade. They had a break in the mid 2000’s in order to return with 2013’s Boogie From Hell. A Million Volt Scream follows Twist and Shout at the Devil which came out in 2017.
At first I thought these guys could be the house band from the Titty Twister – the fangsome strip bar from Dusk TIl Dawn – it kicked off with that kind of desert horror boogie – Clutch with a Scandi twist and cowboy hats.
The album opens with the title track and a siren before a rasping scream and good time riff kickstarts things. Tony Jelencovich sounds like Lou Koller on this opener and offers a great shout along chorus over the top of the groove. There is a real stomp here that has a touch of the Brian Warner about it too. That should have been a warning of what was to come!
1200 Goddamned is a bluesy rocker that sounds like it fell off the back of Neil Fallon and co.’s pickup as they passed through Europe. Tales of gasoline and cowbell draw me in every time though.
Monster Human is what I reckon Lordi would sound like if they took their tongue out of their cheek – the German lyrics then make it sound a little Rammstein with the pounding industrial drums. Hmm!
Dawn of Lucifer takes an about turn with a mid-paced alt rock number with a hint of acts like The Rasmus before Vultures opens with another NuMetal style drum beat. Is this even the same album that I started 20 minutes ago. I keep thinking Powerman 5000 covering Scissorfight.
Vanished Empire is more of a nasty stomp but there are parts here that drag System of a Down up from my inner music vaults. Nowt wrong with that SOIA made some awesome albums but it just adds to the disparate stylings off this album. The rest of the album continues in this vein – Facedown Bondage and Slaves in Orbit are both filled with groovy big riffs and big drums but without a big enough hook to penetrate my neck and feet.
Creature Grunts is kinda cool in a mid-period In Flames vein before Rabid Horizon finishes things off with final dust covered boogie which gets my feet a tapping again.
To these wizened old ears it sounds like the opening two tracks and the final one are from the same band, hopped on mescal and huffing gasoline whilst the rest sound like someone has hit shuffles on an early noughties iPod.
When Transport League bring the boogie it hits direct. Not so for the mash ups.
(5/10 Matt Mason)