Canadian hopefuls Sven Gali rode in on the tail end of the hair metal boom, releasing their debut album – self titled, natch – in 1992 when the boom times were already making good with their legs over the horizon. However the album’s straight-down-the-line Skid Row-styled heavy rock garnered enough fans for there to be a severe backlash in 1995 when the band released second album Inwire to an audience yearning for flexnet-inspired good times and severely displeased by the album’s perceived grunge capitulation. I should know – I was one of those fans…
Still, it’s 2020 now, all water under the bridge, and we don’t care about that stuff any more, do we? The good news is that Sven Gali is finally back as a recording band after a few years doing the Canadian comeback rounds, with this new EP, cunningly entitled 3. And it’s not bad!
Key here is the fact that Dave Wanless is still onboard, bringing his undoubted vocal talents to pleasant enough tracks such as Now. You can still taste the grunge – the band always opts for a downtuned maelstrom of riffage given the choice, rather than a bouncy, remember-when-we-were-all-twenty fluffiness, but – and this is the key – this style fits where the band is today perfectly.
Kill The Lies – originally released I think a couple of years ago, sounds positively modern, but Wanless gives a bravura performance backed by a crisp production and some committed six string battery from Andy Frank and Sean Williamson. Frank, Wanless and bassist Shawn Minden are all Sven Gali originals, and it’s this spine that gives the band it’s pleasing link between ancient and modern. You Won’t Break me has a Nine Inch Nails propulsiveness at it’s core, and if none of the four tracks here (plus a different, ‘radio’ version of Now) reach the giddy heights of 1992’s Freakz that’s probably for the best in my current lockdown-fattened state. Good to have them back, and worth a listen, if you like a well-played rock song.
3 Is out on June 12th.