“Down the streets, that’s where it’s at,” sings Jonas Eriksson as the first line of the first song here, “Bamalama Boogie.”
Eriksson knows, like everyone else involved in this, that there is no fun to be found indoors.
This is the sound of a band for whom it is permanently Saturday night, never Sunday morning. There’s no hangover here, just hedonism.
And they know their rock ‘n’ roll too. It all hinges on who they are meeting while they are out, basically the howlin’ wolves and the stray cats. Not capitalized, but they know that we know. This is rock ‘n’ roll in its pure form, and Messrs. Setzer and Phantom, they’ll approve.
“Boogie Star” helpfully mentions Hunky Dory, for the avoidance of doubt. And “Damage Control” isn’t so much fussed for High Heels as Stack Heels. It’s the sound of T-Rex, of the 1970s, and discos.
And if – like me – you were a fan of the Diamond Dogs, then get yourself to the delicious harmonies of “As Sweet As It Can Be” and tuck in. And as much as the Dogs reference is fair enough, their main man Sulo co-writes the album. That means it has a huge dollop of soul. This one has the best sax solo this side of Michael Monroe.
“Don’t Let The Poor Boy Down” is a slow one, a ballad no less, but you suspect it was only because they needed one to slow dance to because someone told them they needed one to get girls.
“Looking For A Rock (About To Roll)” is glorious. Part The Ramones, part Springsteen’s “The River” album, and it, like “Jemmy,” is what this band was made for.
Fancy a chug? Fancy a classic-sounding song? Well, they’re all here for you, but “Hardest Of Hearts” is a brilliant example of it.
Fancy a boogie? Well, there’s “Runaway Bride.” Eriksson reckons, “I swear it’s true,” which means it’s not (obviously). How do we know this? She leaves him for the “wild side,” and no one here follows? I’m not having it! Not a bit.
“Act Together” is about as happy as Beach Boys songs are, and there’s a positive message. Actually, it’s impossible not to feel positive listening to this album.
Except for the band’s core members Jesper Lindgren (guitar), Jonas Eriksson (vocals), and Ludvig Andersson (bass), you never know who’s going to show up on stage (Kleerup has, for example, joined the band on drums – which is the best name in rock), and the guests here are reserved for the last one. “Saturday Night Until Sunday Morning” has Dregen on it (his one-time Hellacopters bandmate Nicke Andersson was on their debut). The aforementioned Diamond Dogs’ Chips Kiesbye is on it too. The results are wonderful. Basically, it’s the best song Mott The Hoople never wrote.
And that’s a decent summary of the album too. Except I’m convinced Mott did write it, and Velvet Insane nicked it 20 years ago to put out when everyone forgot.
If you’ve ever loved rock ‘n’ roll even a tiny bit, then “High Heeled Monster” is here to remind you that rock ‘n’ roll is actually the best thing in the world.