Review Summary: Bring back the '70s...
Siena Root was one of the first bands that got me into heavy psych and a gateway to '70s rock. Although I still rue the day original guitar player K.G. West departed, leaving a gap they haven't managed to fill yet, these Swedes are hands down one of the best revival groups out there. Pioneers
was a solid album that kept the engine running, boasting some highlights here and there. Luckily, the latest affair, A Dream of Lasting Peace
feels considerably tighter and smoother. The organ plays a crucial role, especially on the barn burning cut 'Growing Underground', embellishing the grooves on 'Tales of Independence' or the jazz-tinged instrumental 'Imaginarium', which reminisces Santana's original jams until breaking into a hard riff during the coda. I can't complain, keyboard player Erik does a splendid job and along with Samuel, the current vocalist, successfully drive the tracks by themselves.
Nevertheless, the other members get to shine on different tracks, most notably on 'Sundown', 'The Piper Won't Let You Stay' as well as 'The Echoes Unfold'. The former bears a classic Siena Root summer vibe, complete with meandering bass lines, crunchy guitar leads and "pocket" drumming. Sam leaves enough room for the instruments to take off, but has a nice presence throughout too. He knows when to keep it calm or soar over the riffs. 'The Piper Won't Let You Stay' is a classic blues number that borrows some of Billy Gibbons' prowess, only to be enhanced by Hammond organ touches. I really dig the bass tone, being deep and powerful when needed. Moreover, closing track, 'The Echoes Unfold' is a sunny rocker, switching from airy verses to epic choruses without turning cheesy. The effective vocals shine here again and towards the end, one final jam brings this beautiful journey to a halt. I wish they kept it going a few more minutes, much like the way 'In My Kitchen' concluded Pioneers
on a high note.
Similar to its predecessor, A Dream of Lasting Peace
is a good record that takes the best out of the hard rocking early '70s to create a strong listen. Undoubtedly, Siena Root are one of the most capable bands in this genre and continue to craft lovely music that both older and younger generations will truly enjoy. To some it might mean a lot of nostalgia, whereas to others (like myself) can act as a gateway to past classics (especially to these guys' best moments). Nevertheless, at the end of the day, this is simply a damn fine LP which deserves at least a couple of spins.