Greenleaf
Trails And Passes


3.6
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
May 28th, 2014 | 28 replies


Release Date: 05/13/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Starting anew

Greenleaf's previous record, Nest Of Vipers was an amazing blend of powerful grooves and slick melodies. The efforts paid off by combining the band's musical prowess with Truckfighters' bassist Oskar's great, unmistakable voice. Each track had its own thing going and none overstayed its welcome. However, mastermind Tommi Holappa (also of Swedish stoner legends, Dozer) started anew last year by making some lineup changes, which included a new frontman, Arvid Jonsson.

Since there was a four year gap in between Agents Of Ahriman and the aforementioned record and new members came on board, nobody expected Trails & Passes to see the light of day so soon. Fortunately, it doesn't fail to deliver. The cool, riff-based tunes still offer more or less the same fun, however, there is a slightly toned-down vibe overall that might have to do with Jonsson's addition. His elegant croon doesn't boast the usual raucous stoner snarl or even the powerful, emotive tone Oskar used, thus being closer at times to Black Keys' Dan Auerbach (especially on 'Our Mother Ash' or 'The Drum'). Nevertheless, the music has been somewhat adjusted as well. It's clear Holappa & Co. wanted to change things around and Arvid helps considerably.

Musically, the tracks are stripped this time of most additional layers such as organs or keyboards. Little tweaks are performed with guitar effects, but the vast majority of the LP is just headbanging fun from start to finish. 'Our Mother Ash' is a straightforward, energetic opener that continues their trend with some playful riffs and layered vocals. Even though it isn't as explosive as 'Jack Staff' for example, there's some shredding and a catchy chorus that instantly grabs your attention. The manic 'Equators' and the moody 'Ocean Deep' offer some interesting variations, but the best Trails & Passes has to offer must be 'Depth Of The Sun'. A more introspective, mid-tempo cut that undoubtedly shares the most infectious melody here. The swaying chorus is backed by powerful drumming while the heavy verses prevent this from falling into the power ballad territory. Also, the gritty, eponymous closer is a dirty, hip shaking monster. The awesome bass line backed up by some matching power chords and pile driving drumming, helping Arvid knock out some of his best lines so far.

In the end, although this effort doesn't surpass Nest Of Vipers, it's admirable the band decided to follow different paths. The music is more intricate and I am sure they spent a lot of time building the songs, however, simply put, the hooks were stronger last time. Still, everyone must appreciate the fact they chose to move on and not rehash the same formula. They will surely find the balance again to produce another classic seeing how consistent they are. Moreover, since Greenleaf became Holappa's main project at the moment, I am confident we will hear news sooner than we'd think of and expectations are very high since they have become one of the most entertaining stoner acts today.




Recent reviews by this author
Motorpsycho The Motorpnakotic FragmentsJakob Skott Taurus Rising
Brant Bjork Black Power FlowerSiena Root Pioneers
The Ting Tings Super CriticalMark Lanegan Phantom Radio
user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2014


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

I gave this a 3.6 because it's sliiightly better than Agents Of Ahriman. Nice record, but doesn't gets close to Nest Of Vipers.

Stream the entire album here - http://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/trails-and-passes

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Motorpnakotic Fragments

Mad.
May 28th 2014


4199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Props for reviewing this man, probably sitting around a 3.5-4 for me right though, but I haven't actually listened all the way through

Still need to hear Nest of Vipers again, cuz I know you love that record

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2014


7464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Glad to see this reviewed, Raul.

Cool record and band!



insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2014


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Thanks!

Yeah, Greg got me really obsessed with that record and I still love it!!




manosg
May 28th 2014


6705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review Raul. Might give these guys' debut a listen.

Digging: Whitesnake - Slide It In

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 28th 2014


13453 Comments


awesome art

Mad.
May 28th 2014


4199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah the artwork is absolutely fantastic, one of my faves from 2014, cuz that should be a thing

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2014


10382 Comments


You and Greg's scores have left me confused as to whether this is a 3.5 or 3.6. I need some answers here, gentlemen ;]

Digging: Thou - Heathen

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2014


7464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's 3.55 jacob

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2014


10382 Comments


oh ok i guess that works!

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2014


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Haha, yeah, it's somewhere in between. Lucky me with the new rating system, I can't get all fancy with it.



DoubtGin
May 29th 2014


6754 Comments


It's pretty good but nothing outstanding, imo.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2014


7464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My thoughts exactly, but I still enjoy it. It grows on you in time.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2014


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

I wasn't impressed when I listened to it the first few times, but, yeah, it grows on you.

Funkencool
May 30th 2014


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I wasn't a fan of the new approach at first but it didn't take long for me to grow into it. Every time I listen to the album I find something new stuck in my head. Their new singer also has a much bluesier sound to him. It almost gives me a Kamchatka vibe, a band I've grown quite fond of.

Nice Review!

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2014


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Thanks! Yeah, I thought of Kamchatka at first too! It's really close.

Mad.
May 30th 2014


4199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All these songs were too damn solid to just give this a 3.5, they all have something to offer, no filler here, and the vocals really grew on me.

Drummer and guitarist are absolutely brilliant

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2014


7464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mad. are u familar with Dozer or this band's previous album? If not, your perspective may change.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2014


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

I would probably have given this record a 4 too, but after Nest Of Vipers this is a bit tame or at least less interesting and catchy.

Mad.
May 30th 2014


4199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I heard Nest of Vipers a while back but I can't remember it, need to relisten if it's so much better than this! I've never heard
Dozer, I need to get on that ASAP, what's their best album to start with?

I've got so many songs from this album stuck in my head at the moment



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy