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Finally a retro hard rock band who are able to add substance to style – meet Riot Horse from Sweden

RIOT HORSE, "This Is Who We Are" (Rough Trade)

Danish version

In theory it's quite endearing that a lot of the new(ish) hard rock bands these days pay their respect and homage sound wise to 1970's behemoths such as Led Zeppelin, Sabbath, Purple, Free, Mountain and others of the same ilk.

Having said that, huge parts of the ongoing retro wave of rock bands are extremely tiring. As written on other occasions in this forum these bands may indeed have nailed the genre stylistically. The knack for memorable melodies and dynamics that were such an essential part of the magic of the old bands seems to be sorely lacking with the new batch of bands though.

And now ...
Even more reason for warmly welcoming Swedish quartet Riot Horse to the party. These guys have got everything nailed on an album where they pay tribute to obvious influences like Mountain, Deep Purple, Zeppelin and blues era Whitesnake the way it should be done:

With decent melodies, enduring riffs, dynamics and an excellent singer – Andreas Sydow – who's quite a revelation for this genre.

Guitarist Nille Schüttman is no slouch either. His varied playing ranges from raw riffing – often played with a slide Rory Gallagher style – crying reverb laden solos and sonic trips from pure rage to heartfelt fills. There are several examples on “This Is Who We Are" but you might want to start with “Starlight" – a song hat incorporates all the elements mentioned.

Sydow and Schüttman are backed by the competent rhythm section of bassist Joacim Sandin and drummer Jonas Langebro and there's really not much else to do for the listener that to join the rock and roll ride with a band who – as one of few – really understands what it takes to make classic hard bluesrock live and breathe again.

Rival Sons and Graveyard; move over for Riot Horse. If you dare.

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