Somewhere in Sweden, there’s a town that doesn’t have a production line churning out greasy-fingered, bewhiskered and bedenimed rock n’roll bands. It’s the only sane conclusion to draw when you consider the sheer number of bands currently flooding the market with a marked similarity in sound to this week’s darlings, The Drippers.
The Drippers are products of the Gothenburg factory, and, though ostensibly bearing all the hallmarks you’d expect (low slung, thrilling guitar solos, frantic drumming, Kiss-meets-Hüsker Dü songwriting smarts, chunky Great Frog Style jewellery and a love for beer-flecked beardage) they also have a crucial something extra in their sound that really does draw the listener in and compel them to stay for the duration of Action Rock, their new album.
Perhaps the other thing that gives them that crucial tang of difference is the fact that the album was recorded at the legendary Sunlight Studios under the tutelage of Tomas Skogsberg, the man responsible for launching a thousand Swedish death metal bands in the nineties. He’s a master at capturing chaotic rawness, and on the likes of tracks like Bottled Blues the band’s frantic approach has him earning every last Krona as they threaten to spin hopelessly outta control. He does it, and the resultant noise is truly like listening to bottled rock n’roll lightning.
Backbeat is thunderous and tuneful, and again runs along the fine line between genius and madness. Aussie legends Hell City Glamours spring to mind on this one, whilst elsewhere the ghosts of Lemmy, Philthy and Fast Eddie are never far away, whilst standout track Finskt Blod somehow manages to shoehorn Creedence Clearwater Revival and Black Flag into the same room without anyone dying.
In short, The Drippers, despite working in some of the most heavily-populated waters in rock n’roll, have managed to create an incendiary noise that’s as completely fresh in outlook as it is old-fashioned in structure. This is how you breath life into an apparently long-dead corpse, and then some…
Action Rock is out on August 2nd.