The Ferris wheel of rock music continues to turn, as it should. A decade ago, H.e.a.t. were anointed as the natural successors to the crown of Europe. Four albums in, Erik Grönwall and company can no longer be considered kids, so perhaps it was no surprise when commenting on the band’s 2015 debut Revolution some reviewers began referring to Art Nation as“the new H.e.a.t.”
Though it’s a fairly lazy comparison, there are commonalities. Along with Joey Tempest et al, both bands hail from Sweden and are busy adding a smart, modern slant to a style that outsiders would probably consider rigidly defined and unwilling to change.
That’s complete bunkum. Along with countrymen Eclipse, what Art Nation and H.e.a.t. are doing is important for the genre’s long term survival, and they do it well. Ghost Town, Maniac, Paralyzed and Kiss Up And Kick Down are beautifully polished nuggets of hard driving pop-rock, a smash-down-the-barricades stance reflected in the buoyant One Nation. Now signed to a major label in their homeland, these are good times for Art Nation.