Released: 2004, Wild Kingdom
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Maryslim appears to be Sweden’s answer to sleaze rock. SPLIT VISION is an equal dose of L.A. Guns, KISS and Hanoi Rocks all rolled into one package and overseen by Peter Tagtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain). Tagtgren’s involvement with this production is a bit of a surprise given his preference for the heavier side of metal, but he seems to capture their sound very well. This is Maryslim’s second full-length and first on Wild Kingdom.
The heavy, yet melodic riff of “Walk Alone” sets the tone for the CD as Mats MF Olsson’s mid-range vocals combines with tight, snappy drums and Kent Axen’s leads to form an almost retro sound. “All I Want,” “B.T.L.” and “Another Day” have a very modern rock feel to them with extremely catchy choruses. The fuzzy, glammy riff of “I Don’t Mind” sounds like a newer Poison track, but with some kick. “My Time” and “Just Maybe” have a heavier groove to them with a fat underlying bass line. The final track, “Bring It On,” is a slower ballad that really stands out from the rest of the tracks because it isn’t hard rock at all. It is an acoustic track that wouldn’t be out of place on (gasp!) a Toad the Wet Sprocket album. Tagtgren plays keyboards on this track, as well. Good stuff that mellows out the sound after eleven tracks of non-stop riffs.
The cover art should have been a giveaway with Maryslim’s grimy-looking members, plethora of tattoos and semi-teased hair, but I was still taken aback by a sound that I thought was long-forgotten and frankly never seen in Sweden. Plus, seeing Peter Tagtgren’s name on the back led me to expect a brutally heavy death metal record rather than a mid-tempo rock record with a throwback sound to the 70s and 80s. A sentence in the band’s bio reads, “you want to hear some outstanding hot steaming, catchy Rock n' Roll that will make your ears bleed and your heart stompin', then you can't afford to miss "Split Vision." This is very true; a cool record that just proves how easy it is to almost make me the “ass” in assume.
KILLER KUTS: “Walk Alone,” “All I Want,” “B.T.L.,” “I Don’t Mind,” “Bring It On”