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Released: 2003, Small Stone Records
My love of Small Stone Records’ stable of 70s rocking stoner bands is fairly well documented throughout MR’s reviews. The label has never, ever let me down thus far, so it was with great anticipation that I tore the packaging off of Greenleaf’s new disc and shoved it into my waiting CD player. I was prepared to be blown away yet again, arms poised to thrust into the air, neck ready to bang, and for three glorious songs, they did. But as “The Combination” played, a strange thing happened: I lost interest. “The Spectre” briefly brought me back, but the closing double thuds of “Masterplan” and “No Time like Right Now!” (despite its awesome title) cemented my disappointment.
A Swedish rock band, Greenleaf follow in the footsteps of all the 70s rock greats, big and small, rocking with wild abandon. To my ears, the problem is that the songs just don’t have the catchy riffs that they need to stick in the head and make you keep spinning the album. About half of this album is just dull and droning, Fredrick Nordin hollering over riffs that simply sound stale and repetitive.
However, when the band is on, they are really on, as “Witchcraft Tonight” and “Never Right” perfectly illustrate with their thick rock grooves digging deep into the gray matter. Masterpiece of the disc though is the pounding “Black Black Magic”, as the band bashes out a riff so simple and yet so captivating, it’s impossible to resist.
It all adds up to a record that is wonderful exactly half of the time, a flawed rocker if ever there was one. As I said, Greenleaf’s good is very good, so here’s hoping that they manage a full album’s worth of magical songs next time out.
2) 10,000 Years of Revolution
3) Witchcraft Tonight
4) Never Right
5) The Combination
6) The Spectre
7) One More Year
8) Black Black Magic
10) No Time like Right Now!
Tommi Holappa: Guitars
Daniel Liden: Drums, Percussion
Bengt Backe: Bass
Fredrik Nordin: Vocals
Daniel Jansson: Guitars
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