Swedish guitarist Thomas Silver made something of a name for himself with well-meaning retro rockers Hardcore Superstar; However this new solo album that he’s put out on the Volcano Records imprint is infinitely more satisfying than anything he managed to cook up with Jocke Borg and company, being a sumptuous, ear-gratifying mashup of sounds and styles that will please anyone with an ear for finely observed classic rock n’roll.
Explosive opener Caught Between Worlds takes in influences as diverse as Hanoi Rocks and Graham Parker to fashion an irresistible slice of sleazy, seventies-inspired rock n’roll, clad in thrift-store glam threads for sure but packing an almighty punch all the same. The brooding D-Day is a gloriously gothy excursion into the night time world of pimps and players, Silver singing up a storm in the vein of Bauhaus alumnus Peter Murphy.
The chiming Coming In, Going Under is another rollicking slice of good-time punk stompery, the sneer on Silver’s lips becoming an actual audible thing as he spits out the lyrics against a backdrop of rock solid drumming and spidery, spiralling axework. Elsewhere the stupendous On a Night Like This takes the goth motifs explored earlier to their logical conclusion; which is, a delirious, horn-augmented melange of Steve Stevens and Andrew Eldritch. I’m serious. And it’s every bit as overblown and ludicrous as that union sounds.
And it’s bloody brilliant.
As is the bass-driven Mean Town, which again visits the late seventies for it’s inspiration but benefits from a crisp, modern-sounding production. Indeed it must be noted that this album sounds absolutely wonderful throughout, with a wide, spacey sound that doesn’t stint on crunch but really does sound a million dollars in every respect.
The album closes with a glorious semi-ballad in the shape of the nostalgic All Those Crazy Dreams, Silver looking back in best ‘when we was fab’ style at his days as a young rock n’roller starting out on the road to stardom – if you’re a sentimental old fool like me it’ll bring a tear to the eye, but those made of sterner stuff will simply enjoy the grandeur of the song and Silver’s unlikely cockney twang – that’s right, it’s a win-win situation!
Pretty much faultless, then, and I’ve no reservations at all in recommending this album to full-force rock n’rollers everywhere. Enjoy!
The Gospel According to Thomas is out now.