Swedes Captain Crimson hail from Örebro, one of the absolute musical hotspots of Scandinavia (Millencolin, Graveyard, Nasum, Blues Pills and Witchcraft, among others, all call the town home), so even before pressing play at the start of Remind you’re pretty sure you’re in for a bit of an aural treat, since none of those bands, as far as I’m aware, have made any false steps thus far.
Of course, you might already have heard of Captain Crimson before – this is the band’s third album – in which case you’ll know what to expect and are probably already salivating.
What to expect is this: Raunchy, bass-driven and bluesy hard rock (and yes, there’s a tiny hint of Graveyard hidden away in the grooves if you really want to look hard enough), packed full of melodic though heavy riffular fun and the excellent lead vocals of Stefan Lillhager, who is perhaps the highlight of the whole show. Although supremely talented bassist Chris David might have something to say about that.
Anyways, forget the personnel – they’re all brilliant – and concentrate on the songs. Quite simply Captain Crimson have the sort of songs that leave hipster bozo pretenders like Rival Sons weeping in their wake; Yes, it’s that retro seventies post-blues-boom bombast that they are dealing in, but whilst much of the opposition wastes time with worries about authenticity and which vintage amps to use Captain Crimson just get on with the job of rocking and win the prize hands down. Listen to Andreas Eriksson’s paint-stripping solo on Black Rose if you don’t believe me; living, mind-bending proof that this is a band that have the chops and the attitude but most importantly the songs to go all the way should they so choose. Let’s hope they do.
Standout track, the sombre, mournful yet ultimately triumphant Money is perhaps where those Graveyard comparisons are most relevant, but in the final reckoning Lillhanger’s soulful delivery of the vocal and another impressive display from Eriksson render the matchup redundant. All doubts about the ability of Captain Crimson to stand apart from their more illustrious compadres are washed away in the tide of notes flying from Eriksson’s fingers as the song reaches it’s delirious crescendo. This is the real deal, and then some!
Drummer Mikael Läth gets in on the act with an impressive percussive attack on Drifting, which has a real Thin Lizzy strut going on, and yet more incendiary soloing, but the honest truth is you could pick out any track here and compliment everyone on their contribution.
I don’t generally go a great bundle on music like this, but when it’s done this well it is, to borrow a phrase from the great Robert Palmer, simply irresistible. I urge you – actually I’m reminding you – to get hold of Remind at your earliest convenience.