SPEARFISH – In the Meantime… (2015)
Swedish trio SPEARFISH have been together for more than twenty years, sporadically releasing albums because they are mainly session musicians and all are members of Australian star Jon English touring band.
So with the proper title “In the Meantime…“, Spearfish has released a new album including songs composed by themselves in between gigs and sessions.
First of all don’t be afraid by the insipid cover artwork; Spearfish plays Melodic Rock with the classic rock sound of all life plus some progressive bits and hard rock touches.
Guitarist Peter Lundin delivers a very traditional playing in the Neal Schon mould, on the few harder songs influenced by Ritchie Blackmore but its melodic period with the ‘Americanized’ Rainbow, while singer Thomas Thulin (who also play bass) owns a vocal timbre similar to Rush’s Geddy Lee during the ’80s, mixed with Mark Slaughter.
This makes some tracks sounding like Californian Melodic Rock, but also some Eighties Rush / Saga. In fact Spearfish does here a cover of Rush’s “New World Man”.
But overall, the sound on “In the Meantime…” is Melodic Rock / Classic Rock with nice melodies, choruses and rhythms.
The songs on the album seem as balance between the rocking / sharp and more moderate and melodious. To the former ‘Put Me Down, Diamond’, ‘South’, the moving ‘Conclusion’, ‘Hawks Of War’ are representative, lots of strong riffage and a heavier bottom end with a bit of late seventies feel.
For the more melodic rock moments we have opener ‘Quicksilver Linings’, the lovely ‘Gazing at the Moon’, and midtempo ‘Time Will Come’. Closing ‘Under a Bourbon Sky’ stars slowly invoking piano, acoustic guitar, even some progressive notes at time. But after the lighter start, cranks up with fiery guitar solo in the second half, resulting in one of the more interesting tracks.
“In the Meantime…” delivers well-crafted and entertaining melodic hard rock, with a sound leaning more to classic rock.
The musicians in Spearfish are really good at their game. The guitar lines are sharp and lively with solid leads, from smooth to soaring, while the vocals, which may sound atypical at first listen, are quite melodic and with well arranged harmonies. Frankly, and not dismissing the importance of the rhythm section, for Spearfish, the guitar and vocal parts are the key assets, the definitive parts, of most every song.
Production is good, it could be more bright, but I am sure this is the sound the musicians wanted; warmer like in the classic rock seventies / eighties era.
After a couple of listens, I liked “In the Meantime…” a lot.
01 – Quicksilver Linings
02 – Put Me Down, Diamond
03 – South
04 – Gazing At the Moon
05 – Inspiration
06 – Ursus Polaris
07 – Conclusion
08 – Hawks of War
09 – Gangsta City Blues
10 – Time Will Come
11 – New World Man
12 – Under a Bourbon Sky
Thomas Thulin – Lead Vocals, Bass
Peter Lundin – Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Johan Sterner – Drums, Percussion
BUY IT !