Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Graveyard and Radio Moscow unearth vintage sound of 70s rock

There lies a place, not distant but not quite nearby, where folks still remember the essence of classic heavy rock. The ringing chords of sped up blues reverberated against the walls of the Exit/In Friday night, providing everyone with a reminder of a sound that has ruled the public consciousness for half a century. For those who would say that rock is dead, Graveyard and Radio Moscow thoroughly laid that notion to rest.

Ronnie Blanton of Radio Moscow thrashes the drum kit at Exit/In.

First up was Radio Moscow, who showcased very heavy Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix influences.The set was basically one guy going nuts on guitar for 45 minutes. Most songs were little more than long solos. However, I will say that Parker Griggs put on one of the best individual guitar performances I have ever seen. His control and the command of technique was nothing short of amazing.

He dazzled the crowd with the blistering speed of his bluesy sweeps and scales. However, I did get the sense that each song focused less on composition and were more about giving Griggs an excuse to showcase his individual talent.

Rickard Edlund: Insanity on four strings
They gave way to the headline act, Graveyard, who presented a rich, full, and robust blues rock sound powered by a dual guitar attack. The first thing that strikes you about these guys is their get up. They look like the type of guys you would expect to see getting blitzed with Jerry Garcia in a red brick house. Fully adorned in authentic 1970s style regalia, the band spares no expense in making sure they fully play the part.

The second thing you notice is their intensity. You can see the passion in the lines of Joakim Nilsson's face as he cuts loose with a gravelly shriek. The rest of the band doesn't hesitate to keep pace. Rickard Edlund is steadily bouncing his foot while his hand becomes a blur on the strings of his bass.

It's all propelled from the drumkit of Axel Sjoberg, whose churning drum rolls create a sense of excitement and anticipation from the crowd. And rock shows are rarely better than when the crowd is going all in. There was a guy right next to me fist pumping and wildly gesturing toward the band like he thought he was Freddy Mercury.

Despite the fact that they've only released two albums, Graveyard came across as a very veteran band. They weaved a very confident and aggressive style without needing the help of special effects or electronics that many bands rely on today. It was refreshing to see a band play without the stage being littered in switches and effect pedals. If perhaps you missed out on the golden age of classic rock or just want to relive it for a night, it would be tough to find a better bet than Graveyard.

Joakim Nilsson sold his soul for rock and roll.

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