Monday, 15 June 2009

The Refreshments - A Band's Gotta Do What A Band's Gotta Do

The Refreshments - A Band's Gotta Do What A Band's Gotta Do

1. A Band´s Gotta Do What A Band´s Gotta Do
2. I Still Love You
3. Keep Movin´ On
4. Cadillac Rock
5. Takin´ A Chance
6. He´s Doing Well
7. Rock´n´Roll Heaven
8. A Man Among Men
9. Forever Yours
10. She Makes Me Cool
11. Just Like Jerry Lee
12. Day By Day
13. Hard Luck Jim
14. High On You

This year sees the twentieth anniversary for Swedish band The Refreshments who formed in the Autumn of '89, looking to enjoy themselves and make a few records. Their reputation has grown consistently over the ensuing decades with 2003 seeing them top the Swedish charts with their album Rock'n'Roll X-mas. This year seems like being their biggest yet with a summer long tour planned and this new album has shot straight to number one in the charts within two weeks of release. It's their twelfth release and looks like being their biggest to date. The album cover looks like the cover shot on one of the Sopranos box sets I recently bought, I don't know whether they're fans or it's just a co-incidence - it doesn't matter either way.

They started off as a covers band but have developed as solid writers in their own right - this latest album has just one cover. They worked with Dave Edmunds (check out the great live CD, A Pile Of Rock) and Billy Bremner and their sound is very much in the Dave Edmunds/Rockpile mode. The band line-up has been the same for years and features Joakim Arnell (bass/vocals), Johan Blohm (piano/vocals), Micke Finell (sax/vocals/guitar), Mats Forsberg
(drums) and Robin Olsson (guitar/vocals). Joakim Arnell produced the album and he's obviously learnt along the way from Dave Edmunds, as he has the mixture just right with a rolling piano always present in the mix without dominating at the expense of the others.

The opener says everything about the band, it's a good-time, rock 'n' roller with piano and sax underpinned by a solid drum beat and upbeat vocals. The Refershments are not the band to commit suicide too. Al Anderson's I Still Love You has backing vocals that give it a catchy pop sound that again sounds like Dave Edmunds - I won't mention him again alright. The first single is Keep Movin´ On, a great hypnotic rocker that sounds like, well, you know…. I wish songs like this were getting into the UK charts. What's with the Swede's, all them leggy blonde bombshells and rock 'n' roll in their charts.

Other highlights include the sax driven Cadillac Rock and Rock´n´Roll Heaven pays homage to the greats that are no longer with us, and is delivered with a Buddy Holly and the Crickets beat. I was expecting the same of Taking A Chance as it was written by Finell, Brian Hodgson and Holly perv Mike Berry, but it's more Mavericks than Crickets. Arnell's semi-autobiographical She Makes Me Cool wasinspired by Annie Marie Dolan, daughter of Linda Gail Lewis - "Well I never was one of the boys/I was just a weird dressed kid making noise/when the guys hit the town I stayed in/playing old records again and again".

Just Like Jerry Lee is set to the Killer's early Sun sound and acknowledges all the piano pounders who worship at the Church of the Ferriday Fireball. Johan Blohm, take a bow. Hard Luck Jim, based on My Babe, is okay but nothing great. Don't let that put you off though, this is a cracking album that is the perfect way for the band to celebrate twenty years. You can buy this with confidence.


Jeff said...

This is the "American" Refreshments. They are not Scottish, that is a totally different band.

John said...

What is Jeff talking about: these Refreshments are Swedish! The other band with that name are from Arizona. To the best of my knowledge, there is ne Scottish band with that name.