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JOSH'S APPLETREE Atomic Fruit (2005)

The new Led Zeppelin? Well, I would never be cruel enough to tarnish a band with that tag, but they’ve certainly taken a lot of their swagger from the overrated seventies beat combos second album.

Fortunately for me, given my distaste for all things Page and Perce like, they then head rapidly off into Uriah Heep and Deep Purple territory, ramping it up with some Monster Magnet riffing and lots of crazy songs about magic mushrooms, bikes and chicks. Which seems like an excellent way to pass the time.

It certainly makes a change for a Swedish band not to be releasing a death metal album and this is a highly enjoyable classic rock release. In my world you can’t go far wrong with songs called "Groovy Space Chick", "Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” and “Plain ‘n’ Foxy”.

The production is a bit muddy, but this is a self released album, so they can be forgiven. Vocalist Lasse (who is a man – in joke for Scottish readers) has a fine blues holler – not surprising when he cites Warren Haynes, Leslie West, Steve Overland and Jimmy Barnes as influences -, John whips out his Hammond and drenches the songs with some fine Ken Hensley moments and guitarist Hawkan knows how to rip up a riff. Fourteen tracks are perhaps 3 songs too many, but at its peak, in places it’s almost like Paul Rodgers has been jamming with Jon Lord and Dave Wyndorf, and that would be a mighty fine place to be.

An unexpected delight.


Review by Stuart A.Hamilton

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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