Åskväder are a tuneful, melodic power-trio from Gothenburg, Sweden, whose self-titled debut album contains ten tracks of classic ‘Scandinavian rock’. The band was formed in 2018 and consists of Staffan Persson (previously in Let Them Hang) with his lightning-speed bass grooves, Jon Solheim (ex Dödaren, Solheim, Dådet) on drums and lead vocals, and Martin Gut (ex Devilicious) bending guitar strings and singing harmonies.
The album was mixed by Robert Pehersson, who fans of Scando-rock will recognise from his work in Robert Pehersson’s Humbucker; Thunder Express; Dundertåget; and Death Breath. While capturing some of the influences from Scandanavian legends such as The Hellacopters and Turbonegro, Åskväder and Robert have managed to create something a little different. The band had previously released an EP but this debut album does now define the Åskväder sound. ‘We wanted to keep true to our roots but to try to capture how we sound live for the feeling of the new album’ says Staffan Persson who handles bass, also adding ‘playing live as a power-trio is where we are at our best’. The album features a guest performance by Robert Pehrsson (Guitar solo in Give In), and Malin Strelitzsky (Vocals in Bit My Lip).
Chemistry-wise, there was an instant meeting of minds at the first rehearsals of the band and with a wide pallet of different musical styles and experiences, Åskväder has evolved into a critically acclaimed band in Scandanavia, well -known for powerful live performances. Because the lead vocals are handled by Jon Solheim the drummer, this leaves the other two free to really strut their stuff on stage and project a big visual stage image, something trios sometimes struggle with.
With a focus on hooks and melodies, although an indie-band, the band’s influences range between garage rock, power pop and blues. Strong anthems such as God’s Grace and Thunderstorm are nicely balanced with slower ballads such as Give In. There are lots of decent vocal harmonies, catchy refrains, punchy riffs, bluesy licks and a solid drum and bass groove. No fuss, just straight rock’n’roll.
Okay, there’s not a lot of pushing of boundaries here, the sound is fairly derivative indie, heard a lot on your radio (almost a kind of ‘serious’ boy-band on one or two tracks). But as a band they are very tuneful, all the songs are catchy, and it’s very listenable and enjoyable. Two singles have been released recently – God’s Grace and Nothing To Lose – and their self-titled debut album Askvader comes out through The Sign Records in March 2020. Keep at it chaps!