Of late it’s great to see that Scandinavia is not just the domain of symphonic metal, dark or otherwise. There are some right rip-roaring retro styled rock bands coming through and making waves, with Free Fall being another one of these. Brothers in arms to the likes of Graveyard et al, they lay claim to a style of “freedom rock” that swings hard with an energetic, authoritarian and uncompromising sound (or so they say about their style). What we get from their debut album is a huge slice of grooving rock that has its stylings very much inspired by the greats of the 70s.
Title track and album opener Power and Volume brings to mind Zeppelin at their height. It’s a toe-tapping monster of a rocker with Kim Fransson bringing to mind a cross between Plant and Gillen in their pomp and sets the album up magnificently as it throws you into its retro laden riffage and production. It sounds live, it sounds raw, it sounds like they’ve gone into the studio and just decided to let rip to superb effect. Free Fall by comparison has a great commercial edge that is a great change of pace from the opener and has the spirit of the 70s roaring through it, it’s more Free than Zeppelin this one with Fransson showing just what he’s capable of vocally.
As far as debut albums go it’s a pretty damn strong offering. It throws out long highways, clear blue skies and windows rolled down, stereo blasting out and rocking. It’s that kind of easy going yet hard to resist rock that just makes you want to have good times and sink beers with your mates, putting the world’s wrongs to right. Midnight Vulture has all those feelings in buckets with touches of AC/DC running through it before Top of the World takes us back to the grooves of the start of the album.
To be honest, Free Fall could probably chuck out another half dozen tracks of similar ilk and it would still be a great rockin’ album to listen to but they close the first part of the album with a bit of an atmospheric monster in Attila. It’s something completely different from what’s gone before it and has a wonderful middle eastern flavour running central to its melody coupled with a slow building tension as it reaches its conclusion via some well-crafted guitar work.
World Domination sees the second half of the album running with flavours more akin to Deep Purple as the good times feel like they have a darker under-current. It’s a little bit heavier than anything that’s come before it so far and another notch on the bow of Free Fall as they show us just what they’re capable of. Love Bombing though is very much the flipside to of this coin as it returns to the good time rock of before. Jan Martens in particular producing some tremendous bass work backed by superb drumming from Ludwig Dahlberg as Mattias Barjed guitar line runs all around them both to great effect.
The album closes out with the funky stomp of Damnation that runs into the sure fire commercial single of Meriola Blues before finishing with the wonderfully titled Meat which makes you feel like Free Fall have come, delivered on the rock and left a town raising beers in salute as they drive off into the burning sunset until the next time.
A great introduction to what looks like yet another great rock export from Sweden.
Power and Volume is out now via Nuclear Blast
1. Power & Volume
2. Free Fall
3. Midnight Vulture
4. Top Of The World
6. World Domination
7. Love Bombing
9. Meriola Blues
FREE FALL are:
Kim Fransson – Lead vocals
Jan Martens – Bass
Mattias Bärjed – Guitar
Ludwig Dahlberg – Drums