Innocence & Decadence is a solid offering from Graveyard that fits somewhere within ‘70s’ rock, modern stoner, and American blues.
I hadn’t heard about Innocence & Decadence until I saw the video for “Too Much is Not Enough” (found below). The track is a paced, passionate penetration of the earhole, sublime in performance and composition. The track features Joakim Nilsson’s voice at its most soulful, while the music is perhaps more bluesy than anything Graveyard has released before.
Longtime fans needn’t worry, the album still rocks in the way only Graveyard does. It starts strongly with “Magnetic Shunk,” an energetic head-nodder that’s all about doin’ it hard and rough. Track three, “Exit 97,” slows things down a bit in a way reminiscent of “Slow Motion Countdown” and “Hard Times Lovin’” from the prior Lights Out album. “Exit 97” is my favorite track on this release; it captures the power of Nilsson’s range, from his gravelly, panty-wetting croon to his high-register belting, complemented by the incredibly crisp guitar tones and backing Hammond organ that altogether ooze genuine soul.
After researching why Bob Dylan was singing on “From a Hole in the Wall,” I discovered Truls Mörck has returned for the first time since Graveyard’s debut album. Mörck is on bass instead of guitar this time around, but still provides some backing vocals throughout, in addition to taking lead vocal duty on the aforementioned track. Despite the unexpected switcheroo, the track complements the album’s style well.
If there are any complaints I have, it may be the occasional banal lyric, especially in “The Apple and the Tree,” which is the only song I can’t get into. I also still can’t decide if the choir fits in “Too Much is Not Enough.” But these are very minor complaints, and hardly detract from what is otherwise a very solid release that shows the band can evolve without sacrificing their style.
Graveyard fans have no reason not to pick up Innocence & Decadence as soon as possible. The album is perhaps the most accessible, so it’s a great place to start for any newcomer who appreciates good, honest rock ’n’ roll.
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