Greenleaf: Rise Above The Meadow

Swedish stoner rockers get stuck in second gear

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Originally a side-project for Swedish stoners Dozer, Greenleaf have been going since 1999, and Rise Above The Meadow is their sixth album – not bad for a band never intended as a full-time enterprise.

Original frontman Oskar Cedermalm (also of Truckfighters) has been replaced by little-known Arvid Johnsson. The difference is noticeable, and Arvid is an improvement, lending the lyrics a smoky sense of authority that smacks of Chris Cornell. But despite their credentials and the recent big stage exposure supporting Clutch, Greenleaf aren’t more than the sum of their parts.

While Rise… is an exemplary piece of modern-day stoner rock, it’s neither hard-hitting nor unique.

Catchy tunes like A Million Fireflies save Greenleaf from melting into the nondescript stoner bucket, but is it enough to matter? They’re probably too cool to care.