Purslane - Purslane (2018) -- reseña inglesa --

Upon Checking my record collection I see that I focus on albums from the North. Sweden has always been a good source of music of styles for all tastes from the beautiful folk of The Tallest Man on the Earth to the intense rock of The Hives and The Hellacopters to the perfect rock classicism of The Soundtrack of Our Lives, without a doubt the best rock band out of the Scandinavian peninsula in the last twenty years. Their album "Behind the Music" of 2001 still seems like a masterpiece regardless of where it comes from. In 2018 I think I found a remedy for the vacuum created by the disappearance of that band and I have the feeling that "Purslane" can be another magnificent group to consider especially after the moment we got to know their self titled Ep (Purslane EP, 2016) in which the band formed by Michael McGowan (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Sara McGowan (percussion, vocals), Birgitta Fryklund (bass, vocals), Wilhelm Söderquist Wermelin (guitar soloist and vocals) demonstrated what they were capable of. Four excellent songs that took over from TSOOL, distancing themselves somewhat from their rock classicism and spicing it up with the indie freshness of the late eighties early nineties by channeling REM or Pixies, and even infusing it with some British rogue rock of the last two decades while adding small brushstrokes of the Replacements. Everything I love the most, no kidding or exagerating.  That Ep containing "Pocket full of posies", "From a book of dreams pt.2", "I am and so I do" and "Cinnamon Freckle" was an excellent first statement. My opinion was reinforced when listening to the first single of their debut album, Johnny Disco. The excellent "Johnny Disco" opens this new collection of songs that also has "From a book of dreams pt.2" and "Cinnamon Freckle" taken from the already mentioned wonderful Ep.

Michael McGowan and his Purslane manage to deliver a collection of songs that are fresh and full of vitality. Songs that carry classic rock in their DNA approaching the vital indie-rock of the late eighties early nineties without forgetting to give us a dose of folk music from the 21st century. "Johnny Disco" kicks things off with sharp guitars charged with energy.  The drumbeat echos Moon the Loon, and works to connect the dots in my head, this band from Karlstad with one of my favorite bands The Who led by Townshend. Johnny D is a magnificent song that is already one of my personal favorites of the year, worth its weight in gold and alone justifies the acquisition of this album. After this tune leaves you breathless, you get a good dose of happiness and positivity with the already known, but no less important and surprising, "Cinnamon Freckle". A jewel. A treasure and an oasis of happiness. The opening guitar says it all, and McGowan's vocal dazzles and becomes magical when surrounded by the celestial female voice of Sara McGowan. Power-pop by the book.

Purslane - Purslane (2018): 01.- Johnny Disco / 02.- Cinnamon Freckle / 03.- Salty Midnight / 04.- 44 Maggie / 05.- Lonely Weather / 06.- Robot Kisses / 07.- American Arms / 08 .- From a book of dreams pt.2 / 09.- Allright / 10.- The Summer Sting.

A hypnotic harmonica opens "Salty Midnight" and it's a beautiful, uplifting and smile producing moment. The keyboards are a thing of beauty, as well as the backing vocals. A marvel that takes us by the hand to another of my favorites, "44 Maggie". Both in the previous song and in "44 Maggie" the voice of McGowan reminds me more of a softer John McCauley of Deer Tick and Middle Brother than when he's rocking in Diamond Rugs. Not only is Dylan present in "Lonely Weather" but also an early Detroit garage sound via Jack White. "Robot Kisses" has something in it akin to the great Lou Read, but the playful and carefree Lou. It has a glam feeling and with a little more energy everything would be more clear. It's easier to imagine it that way although it is more difficult to picture McGowan in a suit of sequins and platforms. "American arms" a delicious subject is an atmosperic theme, with drums that shine, with a pop touch. I think it is the loosest song on the album and  it serves as a bridge to another great track which already appeared on the EP, I speak of "From a book of dreams pt.2" with strong nineties inspired guitars. The acoustic "Allright" points us to the end with a Dylan essence, delicacy and great taste. In the album closer "The Summer Sting" the harmonica makes another appearance although this time not in shades of Dylan but that of Neil Young. That tone that Ryan Adams copies so well, that feeling that gives us goose bumps and that makes us fall in love with country-rock. Here Purslane show their American side with a more country-folk touch like when Michael McGowan puts on the suit of his solo alias The Satchel Kid. Despite all of this though, the outro electrifies the equator just as Jack White did with the White Stripes ...We are facing here, another great moment of the album, a perfect closure that makes us want to push play, again and again, in a perfect and neverending loop. Purslane have crafted a sensational debut album that no one in their right mind should miss. A Swedish jewel, an album that will surely be among my favorites of the year.

*Original post in Spanish. Translation by Michael McGowan. 

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