(no label, number or year)
A good friend lent me this treasured CD, recorded and issued by an earlier incarnation of Göteborg's ace roots outfit The Remedies. The band was a sextet then, featuring not only the still kicking Remedies quartet but also Lennart Lindeberg on lead vocals and Per Berndtsson on Hammond organ and piano.
Lennart Lindeberg's voice truly shines on these tracks: gritty, browntoned, slightly hoarse, easily compared to those of his best U.S. counterparts. And the presence of Per Berndtsson at the keys adds suspension and colorings to the music.
Medium tempo "Hell & High Waters" opens up: thick layered with lots of sliding guitars. C.C.R.-ish "Other Plans" is a nifty rocker with a fleetfingered guitar solo and a tinkling piano. "My Home Town": slow, distorted guitar chords and a classy solo with shades of hard rock guitar. "I Need Love" rolls on with yet another fine guitar workout and folkish vocals. "The Way You're Smiling" is tilted towards reggae.
"Midnight Sky" is a masterpiece: a full, deeply echoing sound, a glorious chord sequence and a frenetic guitar rave-up towards the end. "Consider Yourself Lucky" bristles with twin guitar intro, yelling vocals and heavy rock overtones. "I'll Be Gone" enters with church organ and a neat guitar figure and then launches a true power ballad (put down that cigarette lighter, boy!). "Fool Not To See It" is relentless blue collar rock in the Bruce S mould. And "Won't Be Coming Round No More" creeps all over you with slow organ, stylish bass, ticking drums and torch ballad vocals.
This is a good, solid rock album: original material, great playing, powerful vocals. But is this the Great Lost Remedies Album? Yes and No. Comparing "Sweetwater" and "Unfiltered", one critic might say that "Sweetwater" features the better vocalist and has a fuller sound. By all means true - but to me the thicker, denser, sturdier sound of the entire recording makes for a certain sameness. "Unfiltered", although rich in texture, is more transparent and offers more light and shade. More variation, more playfulness, same (or even better) instrumental interplay. Even if "Sweetwater" is 'rock', "Unfiltered" has more 'roll'.
Which makes it a