Monday, April 2, 2012

Music Reviews: Rawhide - "Branded For Life"

When I think of Sweden I think of snow capped mountains, wonderful cuisines and it's culture. When I think of Swedish music I think of Abba and Ace Of Base. Not really the best way to describe the musical accomplishments of such a beautiful country. Then you hear Rawhide, a quartet from Uddevalla who play down and dirty hardcore laced punk rock. And then I think to myself maybe Sweden isn't so bad, musically, after all.

Rawhide's latest release is a 4 song 7" EP called "Branded For Life" (out now on Patac Records). It's hard and edgy with an in your face attitude that gets the blood flowing in your veins. Kicking off with "Out Of Track", the song sounds a little like a Turbonegro track, before going full speed ahead with it's angry vocals and hard hitting drums. It's riff heavy and savvy, but also crisp in it's approach and all around sound. I'm really impressed at the production of this record, considering most hardcore records are not well produced and sometimes get lost in a muddy sound. So it has that going for it as well. "Through My Eyes" is also a heavy hitter full of hard rocking beats and riffs. It's great to hear this all-killer-no-filler style of music coming from the same country that gave us Roxette.

The band, Rambeling Rob (vocals/guitar), Little Mike (guitar), Captain Twofinger (bass) and El Wocko (drums) play like their lives depend on it. Rough and on the edge of losing control. This is the soundtrack to a Hells Angels rally. It's unapologetic and honest hardcore punk rock. It may not be for everyone, but I love it. "Sanitarium Blues" closes out this EP and makes you want more and more from these guys. I'm excited to see what else they come up with. If it's half as good as "Branded For Life" I think this band has a long career ahead of em. Hardcore punk rock is alive and well in Sweden of all places...who would have thought?

4 / 5 stars

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