THE PATRIK JANSSON BAND – Here We Are

Patrik Jansson Band Here We AreIsn’t it awesome when you bump into something really cool totally unexpected? I usually don’t pay that much notice to bands with names like The (insert name) Band, for reasons I’m really not that sure of, to be honest. Maybe those kind of band names are a bit too anonymous and I find them a bit boring. And it’s me who’s screaming about the whole judging a book by its cover thing… Also, the whole blues rock genre where Jansson is moving in is a genre that I feel is a bit narrow and this kind of music has a hard time sticking on me. That said, I have been totally knocked out by great bands like Badge lately so why not give this a go as well? How do onIe bump into a record like this then? And by like this, I mean a blues album by a Swedish player. Well, being the music nerd I am, I know the guy’s involved in other projects, projects quite different from this. In TPJB, Patrik plays guitar and is the lead singer, but in his day jobs, he’s the drummer and I know his name from both Laney’s Legion, a melodic hard rock band which released their debut album just now – a marvellous piece of work, I might add and with Hellsingland Underground, a pretty simple (in a good way) rock band with big southern rock influences – both in looks and in sound – with a groove that can make even a paralyzed get up and dance. The Patrik Jansson Band goes back all the way to 2007, but it would take them a few years for them to get anything recorded and released – all the way to 2011 to be correct, because it was then when he / they released his / their debut album, a self titled one that I haven’t heard a single note from. That means I have nothing at all to compare this to, but if it’s anything like this one, then I really need to check it out.

Because ladies and dudes, this happens to be a very fine rock ‘n’ blues record and every time I hear something like this, I damn myself for not listening to stuff like this more often. The album opens up with its title track and if you have any rhythm in your body, this will get you moving instantly. It swings like crazy with both the blues, rock and a twist of big time swing – brilliant. “Moving On” appears to be the first single and why not? It’s a slow bluesy tune where Jansson shares lead vocal duties with singer Lisa Lystam, a 21-year-old blues singer from Sweden with a voice to worship. The song is really catchy, but not in the most radio friendly cheesy way. If Gary Moore would have written “One More Broken Heart” for his Still Got The Blues album, it wouldn’t only have fitted perfectly on that album, it would also have been the best song on it – by far – and both “Tell Me Why” and “Get Away” are brilliant little blues rock pearls but with a blanket of pop all around them and I’m thinking of Jeff Healey here. “Greed” is maybe my favourite track here – it rocks, it grooves and it has a really catchy melody. I’d love to hear that song in a small smokey club. “One Way Track” is another Jeff Healey kind of song, but this time more in an uptempo ballad kind of way and “Lonis” is an instrumental blues ballad – really good. “Never Make Your Move Too Soon” is B.B. King cover and this is a risky one. Fail and experience the wrath of die-hard B.B. King fans. No worries, though, because Jansson and his band – Petter Stenberg – keyboards, Per Wallander – bass and Patrik Thelin – drums – pulls this off brilliantly. The song done by TPJB is an uptempo blues rocker with some hit feel, actually. The album ends on a fine note with “Keep Holding On”, a really catchy blues track.

To call this a straight up blues album would be to stretch things a bit too far, but what it does have is a big blues foundation, but the mix of rock is apparent and to be honest, I’m happy for it. I mean, I like blues, but real hardcore blues is too one-dimensional for me. I hear blues era Gary Moore and Jeff Healey in this, but there’s also influences from artists like Stevie Ray Vaughn and Joe Bonamassa. The production is brilliant as well, easy on the ears and works just as well in your car stereo, at home and on your iPod. Once again I ask myself, why don’t I listen to more stuff like this?

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist:

1. Here I Am
2. Moving On
3. One More Broken Heart
4. Tell Me Baby
5. Get Away
6. Greed
7. Lonis
8. One Way Track
9. Never Make Your Move Too Soon
10. Keep Holding On

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