Bautastor is a band from Sweden that recently released a six-song self-titled EP Bautastor. The brand of rock they play is gritty and tends to lean towards ‘70s psychedelia while also embracing an attitude from the swamplands. I would say that the music would be just about perfect in one of the more intense scenes from True Detective Season one. At least that's what came to mind for me.
What I noticed right away is that these songs tend to be on the long side for rock. The opener “Beowolf” comes in at over ten minutes and “Dark Rider” comes in just under eight minutes. Suffice it to say these guys aren’t afraid to find a groove and jam out on it. That being said there are also catchy melodies and memorable choruses. The songs aren’t one long jam session.
The band opens up with “Beowulf” in which the band is very dynamic within the first minute. I enjoyed the opening guitar melodies which feels clandestine in some way. The band quickly locks onto a groove but throws it away almost as quickly as it’s introduced. It’s around the two- minute mark that the band gets to the actual verse. I would buckle in at this point because the band isn’t going to stop rocking for the next eight minutes except for a brief breakdown that is only there to build back up again. “Beowulf” is an ambitious opener, which makes a statement.
“Devil” is perfect for hiking the backlands of Missouri while sipping on some homemade moonshine. For the first couple of minutes the guitars are clean and the percussion relies on handclaps and drums. The restraint is finally released without much warning.
“Dark Rider’ is straight up badass. There are a couple of blaring guitar solos and heavy riffs, which bring down the house. I wasn’t even in the mood to drink but found myself with a whiskey in one hand and looked down to realize I had a pair of alligator skin boots on. The band closes strong with “Eld & Jord” and “United Slaves.” Don’t miss the last couple minutes of “United Slaves” which is exceptional.
This music reminds me of a time when it was acceptable to be a little dark, mysterious and dangerous. Most contemporary mainstream rock wants you to believe you that you live in a Bud Light commercial where life is everlasting, illuminating bubble propelled by the technological advances we tend to embrace. A lot of mainstream rock forgot that life can be gritty, raw and a psychedelic tunnel that doesn’t stop until you're sleeping in your coffin. I like the fact that Bautastor isn’t willing to forget.
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