BLACK PAISLEY – Perennials (2018)
Last year we were pleasantly surprised by BLACK PAISLEY’s debut album, and now the guys are back with second effort titled “Perennials“. A different beast from the current Swedish Melodic Rock / AOR scene, Black Paisley’s is quite unique, and they surprise you from track to track.
While Black Paisley basement is timeless melodic rock, their music is genre-eluding with elements of bluesy hard rock, folk, classic rock and more. In this matter – songwriting and arrangements – “Perennials” results truly impressive in its bold breadth of diversity.
Opening with the dark at heart ‘I Want Your Soul’ the first thing you notice is a fatter and deeper guitar sound but with those same soulful bluesy soaked vocals that just set you at ease plus a big radio-friendly chorus. If you’re a fan of their debut album you’re on safe ground here.
Indeed on the twelve tracks here there’s a wonderful confidence and warmth on display from a band that deliver beautifully-crafted and distinct shots of rock with staggering consistency. Yes I’m a fan.
If you like that opener then I’ve no doubt you’ll want to dig deeper. And the simple truth is there’s plenty to love in this musical garden.
“Day By Day” adds a certain lightness after that rocking start but connects just as well with its melodious verses. Ballad ‘Sometimes’ takes the mood down further much like “Way to Something” did on the last album and its a definite strength of the band and brings on those same Bryan Adams comparisons perhaps.
After that “Mother” injects some blues and groove with its Billy Squire-like chants, wailing guitars and some nasty Jon Lord-style Hammond keys. Love it.
Highlights from the remainder of the album will surely be a matter of personal choice as it’s all great stuff.
I really like the diversity provided by the light-filled, uplifting and laid back “Miss Me” with its light progressive touch. Then the rocking “Step Back” is somewhere between Kiss and AC/DC, with a riff that is equal parts Young and Frehley.
“Trying” manages to sound like Cozy Powell era Whitesnake without even, well, trying. It has a big compelling chorus, and every time the layered lead guitar comes back after the chorus, it is like “aww yeah.”
“Out of My Life” proves that big kick drum whole notes can make a song. The flanged guitars and ’80s synth keyboards are cool to be sure, but the big Zepp kick drums just do something magic.
These Swedish rockers have done it again and this time spread their wings a little further to bring a wonderful mix of Classic Rock, Melodic Rock and AOR to the table with added shots of bluesy Hard Rock, acoustics and some nice singer-songwriter sensibilities for texture.
More quality melodic rock from Black Paisley, a different band from the talented Swedish scene that just hits the spot nicely.
01 – I Want Your Soul
02 – Day by Day
03 – Sometimes
04 – Mother
05 – Miss Me
06 – Without You
07 – Step Back
08 – Trying
09 – Out of My Life
10 – Alone
11 – Think
12 – Stronger
Stefan Blomqvist: lead vocals, guitar
Ulf Hedin: guitar, backing vocals
Jan Emanuelsson: bass
Robert Wirensjö: keyboards, backing vocals
Mikael Kerslow: drums, percussion