On their new album ‘Versus The Boatsmen‘, Sweden’s The Boatsmen embody the spirit of Scandinavian death rock along with the Stooges, Dead Boys, Motörhead, and pretty much anyone that serves up nasty punk and roll.
Like a gang of party-ready ruffians, The Boatsmen power through 13 tracks of denim and leather beefcake boogie metal, sweaty punk, and muscular hard rock. The fuse is lit right away with the hooky ‘Action Delivery‘ and the accelerated hardcore pummel of ‘Friday Night Forever‘ and it’s clear they mean business as song after song rips by. The blistering ‘Blame It On Me‘, is followed by the ‘Let There Be Rock-era‘ AC/DC boogie of ‘Thirst Song‘. If you close your eyes you can practically hear Bon Scott belting this one out. ‘Saved By Rock‘, is exactly what you think it’s going to be: a huge metallic fists-in-the-air arena anthem.
We’re 5 songs in, and there has barely been time to take a breath before the high octane boogie metal of ‘Even The good Times Were Bad‘. ‘I Don’t Wanna Lose This Time‘ and ‘When I’m Drunk‘ are both in Turbonegro/Gluecifer territory and ‘Big Waves‘ and ‘Clap Canon‘ are almost radio-friendly. Hey, I said almost. ‘Gimme Your Money‘ is a pedal-to-the-metal blast of rock before things finally slow down with the swampy blues of ‘Better Man‘. The album closes with ‘Afterparty in Hell‘, a glorious slab of metal-boogie with a classic riff that reminds me of ‘Heatstrokes‘ by Krokus, albeit twice as fast because that’s how The Boatsmen roll.
This is rock built on amped-up riffs, and musicianship that’s full of swagger. It’s tight, it’s lean, and it’s a little over a half-hour of unrelenting bar-brawling tunes. Ultimately, there’s enough energy here to power the eastern seaboard. Out now on SPAGHETTYTOWN RECORDS and Ghost Highway in Europe.