Saturday Night, Tonight We're Gonna Have Some Fun

The Sewergrooves

Sounds of Subterrania, 2003

REVIEW BY: Chris Harlow

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/16/2003

I picked Saturday Night, Tonight We're Gonna Have Some Fun off the shelf today wondering if I needed to wait six more days before giving it my first spin, but shrugged off the notion figuring that at the very least I'd walk away knowing what I missed out on last night. I mean, if the recent 10" release by Stockholm's rock unit the Sewergrooves was anything like the band's first album, Songs from the Sewer, I knew I'd probably be envious of what vocalist and lead guitarist Kurt Drackes and crew were up to.

But, before we go on, I'm going to say that I am knowingly skipping over several of the band's released albums in making this Sewergrooves comparison since I'm not familiar with my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Guided by Delight or Revelation Time in their entirety. During the early days of the band, the Sewergrooves operated as a three-piece unit; today the band works with an added rhythm guitarist, suggesting added complexity to their work….or so one would think.

From the opening guitar lick on "Boogie Woman," Saturday Night, Tonight We're Gonna Have Some Fun settles back into the oh-so-familiar stripped-down garage rock formula. Where I once would have said that the Sewergrooves did Urge Overkill a notch better than Nash Kato and his Chicago bandmates ever did, I'm now having to proclaim that this Stockholm quartet have added in an equal part of a Phil Lynott-less Thin Lizzy to the mix.

Another observation I'll make is that the guitar hooks on Saturday Night, Tonight We're Gonna Have Some Fun aren't as sharp as what I remember from past works, with the band opting for a greater number of songs with straight-ahead chord playing. With Packe Wahlqvist kicking in his rhythm guitar parts on this album, I find this fact disappointing.

Without resignation, Drackes' voice still shines as he pours out the melodies for which he is known. Emotion abounds from his voice and takes a dramatic turn in "No Time for Resignation" as the upbeat tones Drackes is similarly known for are replaced by an offering that resembles a heartfelt bluesy ballad.

And with a trancelike bass/percussion beat that Queens of the Stone Age made popular recently on their "No One Knows" hit earlier this year, bassist Andreas Broman and drummer Fredrik Hartelius offer up a hearty Sewergrooves version on the track "At My Root" and a less obvious reincarnation on "It's Alright, Why Not…" This backline beat gives the songs the needed swagger to make them the two notable tracks on the album.

But, in the end, I can best equate Saturday Night, Tonight We're Gonna Have Some Fun to a night out that involves a couple of 12-packs split by the need to make a distracting beer run vs. the over-the-top keg party the title might lead one to envy. But since we're discussing music here and not beer, I'm having a hard time giving this album the benefit of the doubt.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2003 Chris Harlow and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sounds of Subterrania, and is used for informational purposes only.