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Svvamp – Svvamp album review

Swedish retro-rockers Svvamp have taken an over-familiar route on their new album

Svvamp album cover

Another cheerful trio of Swedish youths playing analogue homage to their dads’ record collections – or is it their granddads’ these days? – wearing their influences not just on their sleeves but in the brazen titles of songs like Fresh Cream and Free At Last.

The press release is keen to flag up how Burning Down resembles Led Zeppelin’s How Many More Times, but it’s a tame, junior-school iteration of a classic riff, flagging up the gap between the amateur-hour, retro-twice-removed scene of today and the demonic swagger of 1968.

The band proudly proclaim these to be homemade four-track demo tape recordings, and the one-take, jam-room atmosphere soaks through to the material, shot through with bucketloads of laidback, foot-tapping charm. But when the vintage mic is blown by a melancholic howl over cryptic jangling guitar and the smooth blues licks give way to a soulful solo, you sense Svvamp’s introduction to the giants of 60s vinyl came via Witchcraft and Firebird CDs circa 2004.

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.