When Trumbiten made their first appearances on streaming services during the global pandemic of 2020, their first recordings almost seemed to set up the musical project as a bit of fun; something of a necessary distraction for the musicians involved. A cover of Ghost (BC)’s ‘Rats’ and a heavy reworking of Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ both suggested the Swedish father/son duo had some strong musical chops, but as with a lot of covers – especially when played fairly straight, heavied up or otherwise – they didn’t really suggest a band thinking in the long term.
Angelica Rylin’s solo debut ‘Thrive’ (Frontiers Records, 2013) was a decent AOR record. The core of its material took its influence from Robin Beck and other female stars from the late 80s and despite a very predictable approach to the material, Rylin gave strong vocal performances throughout. Its dozen well-written, chorus driven rockers opted for big hooks and bigger melodies at almost every turn and by going for a less bombastic approach than her band The Murder of My Sweet, it certainly made Rylin far more of an appealing musical prospect.
On October 30th, Swedish prog rock legends The Flower Kings will release their fourteenth studio album ‘Islands’. Another epic work, the double disc set will be the band’s fifth double album since forming in the 90s.
In terms of quality, The Riven’s self-titled record from 2019 was streets ahead of their debut EP. Although both releases are solid in terms of playing and song writing, the album vastly outshone the EP in terms of production values and vocal performances. This suggested The Riven’s third release had the potential for a few incendiary riffs. Although that third release turned out to be a two song stop-gap, in terms of old style sounds, both ‘Windbreaker’ and ‘Moving On’ (issued on a strictly limited vinyl in August 2020) really doesn’t disappoint.
State Cows have been making excellent westcoast/yacht rock music since 2010. Always unashamed in their retro-ness, the band have delighted fans across the world with various self-penned homages to Toto, Steely Dan and late 70s Doobie Brothers. There’s nothing obviously original about the Cows’ choice of style, but there’s no denying they do it better than most…and even after so many years, the fact that this most American of sounds was perfected somewhere in Sweden is a fact that still amazes.