Chillihounds

Artist: 
Album Title: 
Shake Your Skull
Release Date: 
Monday, November 12, 2012
Distribution: 
Review Type: 

Recruiting Robert Kulka for bass, and Stefan Johansson (formerly of Aggressive) for drum duties, this Gothenburg based Swedish quartet was founded in 2003 by lead singer/ guitarist Gabriel Aadland and lead guitarist Daniel Hessel. Their aim, and mission in life, to play down 'n' dirty Rock 'n' Roll.

2004 saw the boys release the demos Money, Weed & Gasoline and Gonna Make It Better, which displayed the band's music in its rawer form. For the 2005 demo the band not only came with music which had a more Classic Rock vein (in contrast to the majority of Swedish acts which at that time were into the Action Rock thing, Chillihounds apparently dusted off their collection of old albums to give 'em a renewed listening, and incorporated influences from the likes of AC/DC, Deep Purple, Kiss, ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, Status Quo, Ted Nugent, and Grand Funk Railroad), but also with an altered line-up, as David Kalin shortly took over bass duties, to be replaced that same year by current bassist Carl Linnaeus (ex-Rickshaw, Lucyfire, Abandon). It's that very same demo which gained the band its first recording deal with Italian label Nicotine Records, which released the band's highly acclaimed debut The Album in 2007, to find its first print sold out in only a couple of months. 2010's follow-up was in the same musical vein, and was a semi-conceptual album dealing with life on the road. In October 2010 the band found their songs “Mobile Lifestyle” getting free promotion when it was distributed among 50,000 fans through the covermount compilation CD of British magazine Classic Rock. Getting back to the topic of the album's songs, it's very possible that life on the road, or the fear of it, caused Hessel to leave in 2007. His replacement, Eric Borgen, held on until 2009, after which the band recruited Henrik Sahlqvist to complete some live dates, and then apparently went on as a trio for a while...until 2012, when Bogren re-joined the band as a permanent member.

But, this album was released in 2011, and at that time Bogren was not yet back in the band. In fact, prior to the album's recordings, the remaining trio of Aadland, Linnaeus and Johansson had been auditioning several possibilities for a lead guitarist, and eventually found former Hurricanez guitarist Stefan Rasmusson willing to fill the bill. During the recordings, which took place in May 2011, Sator guitarist Chips Kiesbey (also known as producer for Hellacopters) sat in to bring a splattering solo on the track “1979”. The album IS a varied affair, the guys even bringing a mouth harmonica-vocal only shorty entitled “Mark Of Cain” in the middle of the album (it follows the more excited “Cane”, which also features some mouth harmonica – no credits mentioned, I'm afraid), and also bringing a couple of tracks (album opener “No Vacation” and the delectable “Love Pays The Rent” come closest) with that typical AC/DC style of guitar play (in which it's mainly the pummeling bass which brings about the reminiscence most, as vocally Gabriel simply does his own thing). The info sheet mentions that the second decade of the new millennium has seen a resurgence in Sweden of the popularity of the Classic Rock genre, with bands such as Rival Sons and Ghost leading the pack. Still, I cannot help but feel a touch of Stoner Rock to this Chillihounds material. That's no negative point I'm indicating though, as it sets the band apart!

For you introduction to the band, check the audio available at (www.) myspace.com/chillihounds. On the band's own site (www.) chillihounds.se, you'll also find links to the band's pages on facebook and YouTube. Feel free to surf those waves, dudes and dudettes!

90/100