Devil's Drum

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(High Roller Records, 2019)

Karakter: 4.5/6

Joseph Tholl album cover.jpgAn intriguing mixture of hard rock, post-punk, and 70s classic rock-inspired stuff with hooks aplenty to it, “Devil's Drum” by the skilled Swedish multi-instrumentalist Joseph Tholl (ex-Enforcer, VOJD, Robert Pehrsson’s Humbucker) sounds and feels utterly warm and familiar and yet there is something quite fresh and delightfully invigorating about this 9-song output of his. Traces and influences from the blues, Americana, pop, folk, and singer/songwriter music also rear their cool heads now and again, which is to say that we are dealing with a rather eclectic LP in terms of style and atmosphere.


What immediately stands out upon listening to “Devil's Drum” are the energetic performances by all involved and perhaps more than anything else, the impassioned vocals courtesy of Tholl himself. It is not that he is a fabulous singer or ridiculously talented as such, but it simply works like a charm throughout catchy and charming tunes ala “Follow the Fire” and the raw, unpredictable title track. The majority of pieces have a great drive to them and you want crashing drums, loud guitars, and groovy choruses, you will find plenty of that across this album. However, there is an underlying sense of displacement and longing coursing through some of the material too, most notably in “In Eternal Rest”, “The Passage by the Sea”, and “I'm the Machine”, that is pretty fucking appealing. When lines such as “The night stood black in front of me, the woods had changed and the path was gone” are uttered, they sound damn sincere and heartfelt, which is awesome. Then again, you get the uplifting “It's Just Rock 'N' Roll” and “They Fell from the Sky” too, so it is fair to say that this spirited 30-minute opus has many wicked shades, nuances, and moods to it. A strong and concise effort for sure.




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