Thalamus is a band from Borlange, Sweden who describes themselves as “Five guys with a love for 70’s heavy Rock doing what they enjoy the most. Make music, play live, and drink beer and just living it up.” Sounds good to me! They have a new album coming out on February 20, 2013 from Transubstans Records called “Soul”. The album is produced by Daniel Bergstrand who has worked with such metal giants as Inflames, Meshuggah,and Evergrey. But don’t let the metal production credits fool you; this album is oozing funky, soulful, groovy, lava lamp, black light poster, leather fringe vest, bell bottom, if this van’s a rockin’, don’t come a knockin’ 70’s hard rock.
Speaking of vans, if the first line of the first song doesn’t get you into this record, just shut it off. ‘This House Is Going down In Fire’ is a great opening track. This foot stomping, bluesy guitar solo laden track really sets the tone for the album. Now usually, I don’t like to get off to such a hot start on a record only to be cooled down by a slower song right away, but, the groove on ‘The Great Divorce’ is killer! Kjell Bergendahl’s lead vocals are perfect for this band and their vision in music. His voice has a real Jack Bruce quality to it that helps convey the emotion in the lyrics. Joakhim Åslund on the Hammond organ played through a Leslie amplifier help complete the time warp. Hell, they’ve even got tunes on the record who’s names sound like an ode to the 60’s and 70’s (“Follow The White Rabbit”)!
The upper/mid-tempo jam then slow groovy song formula is perpetual throughout the album. It works because the grooves are so good you can’t help but get into them. Some of the slower tunes still have a healthy, stomping, groove to them such as on the extra bluesy ‘Just Like Robert Johnson’. The bands previous record “Subterfuge” is a little more along the lines of this song, but it’s a welcome re-visit. This record finds Thalamus headed more in the direction of straight up 70’s hard rock with maybe just a smidge of prog dropped in, which to me, sounds just right.