Review Summary: The lights are out, the road goes on.
Graveyard have really gone places during the last eighteen (or so) months. Their awesome second album Hinsigen Blues
, got them on the road for nearly 160+ shows, they signed a record deal with one of the most important labels out there for rock/metal music (Nuclear Blast), and finally they were awarded with a Swedish Grammy award. Not bad at all for a vintage rock act which blossomed in a country where homologous acts of good quality are multiplying like rabbits. At some point, the cycle of Hinsigen Blues
was concluded and the band regrouped to prepare its successor. When the title of the new album (Lights Out
) was revealed and the band commented on its musical/lyrical content, saying that it’s related to the ever increasing inability of modern individuals in objectively perceiving “the real enemy” in their remote environment and within themselves, a lot of people wondered what they really meant. Now that the album is finally out, it all becomes crystal clear, as Lights Out
can be easily characterized as “thinking man’s vintage rock”.
In Lights Out
, Graveyard appear to be more diverse within their style, although their sound has remained the same. The band used the same producer, the same recording studio and recorded again on analogue tape, giving the new album the same warm sound its predecessor attained. However, the musical direction adopted this time feels somewhat altered with respect to Hisingen Blues
. Whereas that album’s boogie/blues rock was energetic most of the time and rarely harbored in more esoteric moments, Lights Out
presents itself as a near-perfect balance between the two moods. For songs such as “The Suits, The Law & The Uniforms”, “Seven Seven” or “Goliath” which rest within the band’s up-tempo boogie rock niche, there are tracks like “Slow Motion Countdown”, “Hard Times Lovin’” or “20/20 (Tunnel Vision”) where the lights are out (sic) and raucous vintage rock retreats in favor of the blues. In the remainder of the songs, both moods coexist in harmony, as it is difficult to tell which one prevails over the other.
The fluctuation in mood over the music is awesomely translated into the lyrical content, which grants a substantial merit to the record. In the album’s hard rocking material, lyrics are angry and bitter and they are sung as such. They pass across a harsh criticism over the mechanisms that keep mankind enslaved to their hideous interests. On the tracks where the tones calm down, lyrics are narrating conversations between friends or within oneself, related to harsh situations and relationships or friendships either enduring over the course of time or going down the drain.
With their third album, Graveyard are going political with their vintage rock on one hand, while on the other, they dive deep into the harsh emotional and professional situations that forged their intimate mentality. Despite their introspect endeavor in Lights Out
, the album is easily accessible, it has the optimal amount of songs in it (and hence a great replay value) and it can be sung along after just 2-3 listening sessions, just like any good vintage or punk rock record.