Self-titled albums are usually associated with identity-defining albums that either mark a significant point in a band’s career or introduce them to the world – Black Sabbath’s eponymous debut, Metallica’s genre-shifting black album or Van Halen’s unmatched first full-length. Swedish rockers Svvamp, it seems, missed this, as their self-titled debut is one with very obvious influences, to the extent that it occasionally becomes derivative.
It seems Led Zeppelin may have been too occupied in their own legal case to notice that Svvamp have recorded what is essentially an amateurish rendition of their track “How Many More Times” on “Burning Down”. Meanwhile, the album’s contrived attempt to sound utterly retro peaks at the vintage-sounding vocals, which are a little out-of-place given the otherwise clear sounding production of Svvamp’s retro-obsessed sound.
That’s not to say there isn’t plenty here to be enjoyed, however, as the relaxed atmosphere of the trio’s bluesy rock is truly charming in places, with the chilled-out, rehearsal-room writing and live recording process leaking through to the album’s tracks. At their heaviest, the band enter gritty stoner rock territory and are able to pack a significant punch, with the likes of “Oh, Girl” swaggering along with a 70s vigour that sees the group almost reach the Cream-inspired heights they optimistically aim for. “Big Rest” and “Set My Foot And Leave”, meanwhile, are more hushed affairs, with the latter proving itself a simple little ditty with a soothing, lullaby-esque peacefulness.
Fans of 60s and 70s-era rock will be hard-pressed not to find something to enjoy here, but come expecting the artistic genius of the likes of Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath and you’ll be sorely disappointed. An album that largely falls flat of the ambitious targets it sets, Svvamp’s self-titled debut would be better served outright admitting what it is, a fun but far from spellbinding homage to various classic rock acts, rather than claiming to have organically found its familiar sound through the same kind of jam-room sessions that many of said classic rock acts did.
Release Date: August 19th, 2016
Label: Riding Easy Records
Favorite Tracks: “Set My Foot And Leave” and “Oh, Girl”
For Fans of: Cream, Blind Faith, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple