The Sign Records
Sometimes you’re sitting around Värmland, Sweden, longing for the good old days of hitting the clubs about ten and rocking out until you had to show up for work. Often as not, those bands featured high energy rock that stuck to the simple recipe of fast guitar work, intricate drumming and clever lyrics. That sound is back in “Dictator Ship,” a Swedish band I initially assumed came straight from the Jersey shore. But they’re out of towners and their sound takes us back to the earliest days of hard rock. They’ve dug up old school high energy sound, touched up the paint, changed the oil and added chrome pinstripes and modern, speed rocking sound. These self-titled “Juvenile Del-E-Quants” know how to sell a song: you can’t argue with tracks like “Eat the Poor” and “Gunner Man” but then your popped with a magical line in the closer: “From the womb to the tomb I’ll be your buffoon.” They take pride in their work, and I respect that. There’s just seven tracks here, all hard rocking straight ahead blasters with just enough hook. It takes two guitarists (Petter Heinemann and John Sijbren Leonard) take turns on vocals, with occasional harmonies punching up the sound. Like so many American technologies, we’ve outsourced our rock and roll, and now we get upstaged as often as not. But check out this band, I love ’em to death.