Released: 2011, GMR Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Nostalgia's afoot as Backdraft inspire the kind of warm fuzz of unpacking a long forgotten box of mementos. Stirring up a whole mess of southern rock, blues, and even country vibes this Swedish hard rock act may seem out of place to some in this predominately American territory. Or even a time period beginning with 2000.
Coupled with this are vocals containing more than just a passing resemblance to '70's stars Free and Ram Jam. Even the album artwork would look at home in the back catalogue of either of these bands.
Yet you'd be wrong to merely pass Backdraft off as the type of throwback band that clutters up local bars. For a start they've been doing their thing for over a decade and over the course of three albums have honed an edge that has moved from pure southern rock towards an ambition of something more timeless.
Ok so three albums in ten years is hardly prolific, but in the case of latest offering This Heaven Goes to Eleven this steady pace has resulted in a eclectic nine-piece. Straight cut rock-and-riffage like 'The King Of Diesel' and 'Idiot' perch alongside the suave groove of 'E.C.G.T. Blues' and thunderstorm blues of 'Wheel Of No Fortune'. More so than on any other album in their back catalogue, Backdraft pulls its tongue out of its cheek somewhat in order to impart a more honest life view.
With a swing in its stride, country infused 'Out Of Here' begins with a well known quote about going up to 11, the likely inspiration for album title This Heaven Goes To Eleven, and a jaunty piano tinkle that is a fitting cherry on this old school sundae.
In fact Backdraft sums up its own predicament eloquently in one of its own song titles – ‘Yesterdays & Tomorrows’. Because this is the kind of bluesy hard rock commonly associated with yesteryear, yet Backdraft seem determined to keep it on the stereos of the future. However with current reception towards the band positively high it seems they’re not only the ones who share this ambition.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs