SUICIDE BY TIGERS – Suicide By Tigers

suicide-by-tigers-albumMy first reaction when I got the download link to this album was to the name of the band. Suicide By Tigers! What a brilliant name – I just love it. My second reaction after reading the press release was that isn’t the market of retro bands digging back into the seventies starting to get somewhat saturated by now? I mean, the scene of retro rockers are so full that it is getting hard to feel the least aroused every time a new band comes along talking about their heroes from back then? To be frank, my first reaction when I read about SBT’s Led Zeppelin, Free and Taste influences was a big sigh and a quiet “oh my, another retro band, how intriguing”. But then again, there are some really amazing bands that has come around in later years that does this so damn well – like Rival Sons and Scorpions Child – that it would be foolish not to give a band like this a fair chance. Suicide By Tigers (I would really like to know if there’s some meaning behind that name) were formed in Malmö, Sweden (today a town mostly known because of soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovich) in 2012 by singer Nils Lindström and guitarist Petter Rudnert and in 2014 bass player Peter Broch and drummer Johan Helgesson completed the band. Now the band has finally completed their debut self-titled album with producer Berno Paulsson who have earlier worked with such diverse artists as The Haunted, Spiritual Beggars and Amon Amarth.

Opener “Death On Your Trail” is heavy blues rock and the rhythm section has a Jimi Hendrix Experience kind of groove to it. It’s nothing new under the sun but it’s a damn good song. “Beautiful Nights” is also really heavy, blues based with a Cream meets Led Zeppelin vibe and the refrain strikes hard – great stuff. “Pack Of Wolves” is a great rock groover that lands somewhere between Free and Bad Company with a swing that is really contagious. First video / single “Vicious Malicious” comes with a heavy, early 70’s blues rock swagger with a somewhat darker feel to it. At times singer Lindström reminds me of ex- Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin. “Fox In A Hole” is rough and heavy but is really a blues ballad. The raw and stripped sound gives it an in-your-face punch so don’t expect any cheese on it. “True Believers” reminds me of the first Black Sabbath album. It is slow and dark but also comes with faster and rockier parts. The song also contains a tribal-like drum part and a short Ritchie Blackmore-ish jam – great stuff. “Ball Of Fire” is on the more catchy side, an uptempo groover that reminds me of early 90’s rockers Brother Cane, if anyone remembers them – very good. There’s a strong Led Zeppelin influence on “Keep You Smiling”, but I also hear early Sabbath and there’s stuff that makes me think of more modern retro rockers like Rival Sons and Scorpion Child – impossible not to dig this one. Closing track “Karma” is a fat grooved rocker that runs in a slightly slower pace. The chorus is very strong and very memorable and the closest thing to a hit on the album, although I’d be surprised if it wound up on any charts.

The influences that were name dropped in the press release – Zep, Free, Taste – turns out to be accurate, they are spotted all over the album, but there’s more to SBT than those bands. Sabbath, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Jimi Hendrix are all in the mix here. Musically, there are quite a few bands that are doing this kind of thing now, Rival Sons and Scorpion Child are mentioned but the list is longer than that, Graveyard and Blues Pills are also bands that are looking way, way back to the early 70’s for inspiration. So, SBT aren’t really doing anything new here, but they are no copy-cats because of that. The band has its own sound and they also have the songs that, with a little luck, will bring them a bright future. The production is raw and stripped and the whole album actually sounds like it was recorded in one take with all the members playing together in the same room with the engineer just recording everything that comes out of the speakers – very dynamic. So, if this kind of back to the 70’s retro thing is what you’re into, there’s no need to hesitate. These guys really knows their shit!

8/10

Tracklist:

1. Death On Your Trail
2. Beautiful Nights
3. Pack Of Wolves
4. Vicious Malicious
5. Fox In A Hole
6. True Believers
7. Ball Of Fire
8. Keep You Smiling
9. Karma

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