Black Paisley - 'Late Bloomer' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 26, 2018    
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A very pleasant surprise of an album.

Black Paisley hail from that Mecca of awesome music and one of my favourite countries – Sweden (Stockholm to be precise). A collective of seasoned veterans from the Swedish scene, the group are a side project from covers band StephMetal and consist of Stefan Blomqvist (guitars, vocals), Ulf Hedin (guitars), Jan Emanuelsson (bass), Robert Wirensjö (keyboards) alongside Robert Karaszi and Mikael Kerslow (drums). The idea was initiated back in 2014 when Blomqvist began writing his own material, and after testing his songs live and in rehearsals, they decided to make an album – the fittingly titled 'Late Bloomer' being the end result.

The band chose the name Black Paisley after Richie Sambora's signature Fender guitar, but I think that name could have been chosen more deliberately as Blomqvist's vocal delivery bears more than a passing resemblance to that of the Bon Jovi legend; perhaps slightly raspier around the edges but similar in phrasing and tone. A healthy portion of this collection of rootsy Rock 'n' Roll songs could also have found a comfortable home on Sambora's excellent 'Undiscovered Soul' opus.

Sounding completely unlike the polished Scandie Melodic Rock one expects with a Swedish band, Black Paisley have tapped into a very mature Americanised radio sound that weaves in and out of Americana, Southern Rock and Soul – reminiscent of the less polished Bon Jovi and Sambora songs, Bruce Springsteen, and Southside Johnny – that is enhanced by an organic keyboard sound and some delightfully tasteful guitar solos.

Opener 'Run Run Run', the Southern-tinged 'Ordinary Day' and up-tempo 'Kickin'' (that reminds me of Danger Danger's 'Crazy Nites') are the liveliest numbers on offer, whereas 'Way To Something', 'Easy', 'This Is My Day' and 'It Ain't Over' settle into a wonderful mid-tempo groove, all abounding with lovely melodies. 'Autumn' and the piano-led 'Coming Home' are the album's classy slow-burning ballads.

There really isn't a bad song on this album. Admittedly, at nine songs, it's a little sparse, but there is also a special version available with two bonus tracks, and that's the one I will be getting. A very pleasant surprise of an album.

Ant Heeks

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