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Backyard Babies: Four By Four

Swedish sleaze-rockers return refreshed.

‘Indefinite hiatus’ is the new ‘musical differences’, and it was that phrase that Backyard Babies used for their semi-split back in 2009. But these are not the kind of people to take the nearest job in a call centre, so is anyone that surprised that Nicke Borg and co are back?

It’s still welcome, though, and the break has had the desired re-energising effect judging by the opening salvoes of Four By Four. There’s something reassuring about the arrogance of I’m On My Way To Save Your Rock’n’roll, and the hooks that wrestle each other for your attention on Th1rt3en Or Nothing and White Light District suggest it’s not just empty boasting.

There are just nine songs on this release (although what’s the betting more will show up on a deluxe reissue?) notching up just 37 minutes in total, but either side of Bloody Tears’s piano-laced power ballad, it’s itchy-footed, upbeat rabble rousers all the way, with the comfortingly familiar themes of rebel lifestyle (Piracy, Wasted Years) and joyous slackery (Never Finish Anything) to the fore once more. Not so much a hiatus as a holiday, then.

Classic Rock 214: New albums A-L

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock