Ah, the seventies–I don’t remember them well. Too much booze, too many mind-bending drugs. But one thing I was sure I remembered well were those occasions when my pal Billy Harrison would pay a visit to my should-have-been-condemned house in Shippensburg, which any sane human being would have fled the day the ceiling in the next room collapsed, dropping a one-ton wooden beam smack on my roommate’s bed.
What we would do, Billy and I, is place the speakers of my stereo on the sills of my open bedroom windows and crank the volume on Graveyard‘s Lights Out LP to 11—you know, to serenade the neighbors. Unfortunately one man’s ecstasy is another man’s earache, and our neighborhood concerts came to an abrupt end the day a police officer suddenly materialized through the billowing clouds of pot smoke that filled the room, like Satan appearing amidst fire and brimstone. The pot pipe flew in one direction, the baggy of dope in another, but we needn’t have bothered; not only did the cop let us walk, he didn’t even bother to seize our stash. Must have been a Graveyard fan.
There’s only one hitch in this fond recollection of mine: Graveyard weren’t there. They couldn’t have been. Hell, the boys in the band hadn’t even been born yet. But they soundlike they were there, which is what I love so much about Graveyard—they’re so retro they bring back memories I don’t even have.
Four long-hairs with cool Swedish ‘staches who are—in the words of Jethro Tull—living in the past, Graveyard play old-school hard rock and blues tinged with psychedelia and folk, making them the perfect band for people who prefer their music to sound like it came out in 1970. Graveyard may hail from Gothenburg, home of Swedish melodic death metal, but you’ll hear no cookie-monster vocals, heavily distorted guitars, or blast beat drumming from these guys, just the cacophonous echoes of such tarpit-bound dinosaurs as Blue Cheer, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath.
Graveyard—they’re Joakim Nilsson on guitar and vocals, Jonathan Larocca Ramm on guitar, Rikard Edlund on bass, and Axel Sjöberg on drums—formed in 2006 and released an eponymous debut album in 2008, but their real breakthrough occurred that same year at SXSW, where they blew minds as well as amps. Graveyard subsequently signed with Germany’s prestigious Nuclear Blast Records—under whose aegis they released 2011′s Hisingen Blues and 2012′s Lights Out—and presto, no longer did they have to subsist on that cheap Swedish staple, reindeer head boiled in beer. And in 2013 they achieved the apogee of all human aspirations when they—that’s right—helped create their very own brand of beer. (Motto: Hisingen Brew–Have two, and you’ll destroy the living room!)