RFL Records [Release date 12.06.20]
Sven Gali started out in the late 80’s as a covers band before releasing their self-titled debut in 1992, which earned them a gold disc in their native Canada. Sadly grunge appeared to spell an end for them and others in the hard rock arena, despite them going in a more grunge friendly direction on their second album ‘Inwire’. The band split in 1996 before reuniting in 2007 and now they release their first new EP in over 20 years.
The original trio of vocalist Dave Wanless, guitarist Andy Frank and bassist Sean Minden were joined in 2018 by drummer Dan Fila and guitarist Sean Williamson.
The five songs on here (although ‘Now’ appears twice including a radio edit version) were recorded between 2018 and 2020, with ‘Kill The Lies’ being released back in 2018. That is the best song on here still, followed by ‘Now’ which has a tasty in your face riff. The other two songs, ‘You Won’t Break Me’ (the nearest they get to the sound of their debut album) and ‘Hurt’ are standard songs, nothing to really grab your attention.
Sven Gali have modernised their sound again, bit of Shinedown in the mix now, and there lies perhaps their problem. They won’t have fans of their hard rocking debut rushing back, there is no sign of a grunge revival anytime soon and plenty of bands are starting to sound like Shinedown and their ilk. One for hardcore fans only. ***
Review by Jason Ritchie
HANNAH WICKLUND The Inbetween
Good as 23 year old blues rock singer, songwriter and guitarist Hannah Wicklund’s self-titled debut in 2018 was, it didn’t really ‘flow’ in terms of the variety of styles on offer.
Here she lifts 4 tracks from that album and gives them a cohesive ‘acoustic’ treatment. The riff driven ‘Bomb Through The Breeze’ is given a tender piano arrangement, the acoustic guitar version of ‘Meet You Again’ echoes shades of Tina Dico, ‘Shadow Boxes’ – a wistful, folk like album highlight – is sensitively stripped back to its core as she does when playing it live, and ‘Ghost’ – an album highlight – gets a haunting minimalist electric guitar work out.
Even if, overall, her vocals are a bit screechy, it all hangs together in a manner that her debut simply didn’t. And while probably just career detour, it does signal her wider potential as a mainstream artist. ***1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
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