Back in the stone ages, some of us fell in love with the hard rock sound of the 1970s. The music still had melody and rhythm and anthemic lyrics you could scream along to. But it wasn’t just a U.S. or Brit thing; those sneaky Norwegians were making music that was as good, but never got any airplay here in the States. Aunt Mary was one of those bands; they broke up in 1973 but the guys seems to be on good terms; they’ve played any number of reunion tours. Now they’ve gotten together for a new album, and its pretty decent foray in to the old school guitar and mellotron sound.
The arty track here is “Happily Ever After”; it’s a brooding guitar and drum exercise overlaid with a plumy BBC class announcer reporting the effects of giving hallucinogenic drugs to a military communications company. I think that’s damn progressive. We then slide into “G-Flat Road;” it preaches individualism and adherence to a group of like-minded anarchists. It’s a sort of oxymoronic thought but the effect is charming in an amped-up Van Halen sort of fashion. Opening track “Slave Parade” is the most modern sounding tune in this collection; it trudges along with a heavy, more plodding sound. Yet it remains distinct from the wall of noise many Scandinavian bands have adopted. Instead; this track looks back to a John Lee Hooker-influenced electric blues that drove The Doors and Cream and the Rolling Stones to chart success. Lead vocalist Glen Lyse sounds distinctly America, if you don’t read the press release or think about the umlauted names you’d never guess this is a European band. We’re all multicultural today, and this is an excellent and exciting adventure with classic rock sound that doesn’t feel “off” or out of date. Instead, it’s a fun air guitar backing track; perfect for cruising in your souped up Prius with its glass pack tail pipes and painted flames coming out from under the hood.