Released by: Gain
Release date: 28 August 2015
Genre: Hard Rock
Nicke Borg – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Dregen – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Johan Blomquist – Bass
Peder Carlsson – Drums
01. Th1rt3en or Nothing
02. I’m on My Way to Save Your Rock ‘N’ Roll
03. White Light District
04. Bloody Tears
06. Never Finish Anything
07. Mirrors (Shall Be Broken)
08. Wasted Years
After a 5-year hiatus, the Backyard Babies are back with a new album that will be freshly released on the 28th of August 2015. It goes by the name “Four by Four” and gives an edge to their signature sound, with bits and pieces that clearly show that those five years have been used to hone their craft.
Starting off with their recently released single “Th1rt3en or Nothing”, Backyard Babies’ new album kicks in with a catchy, bluesy riff, soon accompanied by energetic drums and vocalist Nicke Borg’s deep, sleazy voice. It’s one of those songs that could easily be on every rock DJ’s list around London because it has the potential to attract the crowd onto the dancefloor.
One thing I have noticed with a lot of albums over the years is that they usually feature only a few songs that make you want to dance or sing along as loud as you can. Most releases have a balance between catchy songs and, depending on the genre, rather gloomy, melancholic or aggressive, powerful ones with a few ballads here and there.
Backyard Babies have always been one of those bands that offered more songs that made you want to bang your head or roar along every single line at their gigs. And it’s not any different on “Four by Four”.
Still the same punky and sleazy feel, the same catchy guitar riffs, the same energy that fills up every fiber of your body until you just can’t sit still anymore. But this time with different nuances. The 5-year hiatus clearly shows on this album, as those nuances refine their usual signature sound and give it an edge that’s hard to resist.
“I’m On My Way To Save Your Rock’N Roll” has the same rock’n’roll “in-your-face” attitude you’d normally get from songs Duff McKagan has been involved with. Another artist that comes to mind on this one is Kory Clarke.
“White Light District” has a more groovy feel to it. What made this song stand out was the sudden heavy guitar riffs mid-song and near the end that reminded of Black Sabbath riffs. Something you wouldn’t expect, but also something that in my opinion spiced up the song even more.
“Piracy” and “Never Finish Anything” seem to be the most mainstream songs on their newest release. Both extremely catchy, with a great, fast rhythm. “Piracy” also surprises with a heavy guitar riff which then turns into a great, melodic guitar solo mid-song.
Together with “Bloddy Tears” that made me think of one of their older songs “Abandon”, “Mirror (Shall Be Broken)” is the second ballad on the album. When listening to it power ballads à la Poison and early Bon Jovi songs with a beautiful guitar solo come to mind.
“Wasted Years” is the poppiest song on the album. Catchy, fast-paced, easy to sing along and packed with even more great riffs and solos.
Compared to the other songs on Backyard Babies’ newest release, “Walls” has a very different feel and is packed with the most variety sound-wise. Kept at a steady pace with a relaxing feel at first, it turns more gloomy with guitar riffs that remind of melodic metal as well as sound effects that seem like taken out of a horror movie, high gothic voices and a heavy bass.
A great and surprising ending to an album that is 100% Backyard Babies’ usual style but with subtle tweaks here and there that show that the band did make the best of their 5-year hiatus to present their fans with a slightly different and more mature sound.
When talking about the album, Nicke Borg mentioned: “The break has developed us individually as songwriters and musicians, and we’ve come up with what we feel is our strongest material to date. For the first time, we’ve had the chance to look back on our catalogue and get a firm grip on why our audience – and ourselves, for that matter – loves Backyard Babies so fucking much! So it’s been a mixture of personal development and finding our way back to the band’s essence, its energies…” and that does hold true for “Four by Four” – a great album that’s definitely worth buying.
Written by: Anna Zureck