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Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus - Bloom CD (album) cover


Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus


Crossover Prog

4.03 | 12 ratings

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4 stars Swedish quartet JEREMY IRONS & THE RATGANG MALIBUS were formed back in 2004, and have their base of operations in the town of Eskilstuna, Sweden. They made their official debut as recording artists with "Elefanta" in 2009, and since then they hooked up with Swedish label Transubstans Records who released their sophomore effort "Bloom" in 2011.

Transubstans Records by and large is a label focusing on artists exploring that vintage 70's sound, and Ratgang Malibus is no exception to that. This is a band that requires a certain fondness of the music from yesteryear to be enjoyed. But unlike many bands exploring this field of music, this foursome have opted to shy away from the paths most heavily explored in this scene. There's no stoner rock here for starters, not even in the detail department. No tendencies towards acts like Jethro Tull either, and even stalwart influences like Mountain and fellow Swede's November are hard to track down in the sound explored here. Instead, these guys appear to be rather more ambitious.

Straight forward, blues based hard rock is the foundation on this album. Most songs can be broken down into the good, old fashioned blues, but through arrangements this basic premise has been taken on into rather more sophisticated waters. The rhythm department caters for the stability quite nicely, and adding a slight southern touch of Allman Brothers or a similar band is an additional detail catered for quite nicely by the organ. Most often in a subservient interplay with the guitar, and as far as instrumentation goes the good, old six-stringer is the star of the show on this album. Fragile, psychedelic licks and light-toned but firm riffs form the outer edges of the motifs catered for, alongside distinctly blues based soloing. More often than not resulting in an overall sound reminding me of Led Zeppelin more than anything, but with a dampened southern expression on occasion.

Adding emphasis to the Zeppelin touches are vocalist Karlos, who at times sound exactly like Robert Plant in his heyday. He's got a good, strong melodic voice in general too, and most certainly add life and vigour to these tracks. It is when he takes on the higher parts that he makes most of an impact though, the opening half of final track Fernando one of the best examples. A creation that should send shivers up the spine of anyone who has a soft spot for early Led Zeppelin.

And it is fans of the latter I suspect will be the ones who'd most easily find this strong CD to be instantly enjoyable. In particular those who enjoy Led Zeppelin when in blues or psychedelic mode. And anyone in that crowd who also enjoy bands like Allman Brothers Band better head over to Jeremy Irons & The Ratgang Malibu's homepage straight away to sample the music. Chances are that you'll be instantly hooked.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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