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Free Fall: Power And Volume

Herculean, vintage-flavoured, hard rock from Sweden.

The last few years have seen a remarkable renaissance in retro-rock, much of it coming out of Scandinavia. And here’s another outstanding example, from the band formed by guitarist Mattias Bärjed while playing with The Soundtrack Of Our Lives.

The appropriately titled Power And Volume begins with the rampant title track, an almost Van Halen-esque riff giving way to Kim Fransson’s gleeful, chest-beating exhortation: ‘I’m the king of rock‘n’roll’. Indeed Free Fall perform as though they believe every syllable of that boast. ‘Turn it up, louder… Louder… Louder!’ roars Fransson, as the riff escalates to ear-shattering levels. And that’s just the first track.

Bärjed freely admits to having modelled his group on Zeppelin, UFO, Priest, The Who, AC/DC, the Stooges… You’ve read such claims many times before. For once, though, the music don’t sound like some contrived, fifth-hand pastiche.