[Release date 29.05.20]
The debut album from Ebba Bergkvist & The Flat Tire Band – a Stockholm based, blues rock band featuring Ebba Bergkvist (vocals, guitar), Adam Randolph (drums), Erik Edgren (guitar)and Björn Korning (bass) – offers a bewildering smogasboard of styles.
But the pleasantly unpolished, self-produced affair is sonically quite a breath of fresh air. Yes, the self-production may not be de-rigueur, but in these auto tuning days it adds a refreshing rawness to the retro fuelled 13 track set.
Firmly rooted in the past, the band’s influences are diverse, veering wildly in direction from the late 60s rock of ‘Cabin Fever’ and ‘Princess In The Tower’ (a Scandi reponse to Greta Van Fleet, or the punky half sibling of Blues Pills?) and the Peter Green style ‘Dorothea’, through 70s glam/punk/new wave (‘Nightcap’) and funk stomp (‘Flat Tire’), all the way to the charming acoustic ditty ‘I Guess We Can Always Get What We Want’ (reminiscent of the all too short lived fellow countrymen Oh Laura featuring Frida Öhrn).
And if that wasn’t diverse enough, there’s the sax imbued late night Norah Jones styled ‘I’ve Got Nothing’, 50s swing (‘Hard Times’), and even a ‘old time’ crooner (‘Last Dance’) adding yet more disorienting dimensions to this strange brew of curved balls.
As a result, Spilt Milk may be simply too diverse for many, but it does demonstrate the band’s willingness to tackle a wide variety of styles. They’re going to have to narrow it down, at least some, to find wider appeal, but the unfettered, and emotive playing, and Bergkvist’s excellent vocals vocals make the album an impressive calling card. ***1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
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