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Magnolia: Tänk Själv

Swedish retro-rockers prove their multi-hued pedigree

Although the Swedish faux-hippie retro rock bandwagon has become a little wearisome by now, Magnolia frontman and songwriter Ronny Eriksson has been beavering away in this idiom for nearly 20 years, gradually honing a style of his own out of the choicest 60s/70s influences (Cream, Free, Mountain, Cactus etc).

Tänk Själv is more than just another foreign-language hodgepodge of trendy cod-blues-boom shapes; Magnolia are a more versatile, imaginative and bonded unit than most, each song offering something different.

Proto-doom fuzz (Dit Vi Går), hard boogie (Mr Hårding), languid acoustic psych (Andrum), even quirky jazz fusion (Oväntat Finbesök), Magnolia glide confidently through a panoply of time-warped vibes with a rare elegance and power and a bright, sturdy sound, more reminiscent of Stone Axe or Firebird than the recent fashion parade of floppy-hatted hepcats recording through the musical equivalent of an Instagram filter.

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.