Thirty years ago, back in 1989 in the small town of Nässjö in southern Sweden four guys got together and formed a rock band. A rock band that would take them from Nässjö to Stockholm and eventually all around the world. That band is Backyard Babies and they are now releasing their eighth studio album called “Sliver & Gold”. Even though founded three decades ago, the musical journey of the band has never strayed too far from the thread that runs through their carrier, which now spans over eight studio albums, a bunch of EP:s and an ocean of singles.
Compared to some of the earlier albums, their new album “Sliver & Gold” has a more mature sound and there is a slight reduction of aggression. “Sliver & Gold” could be called a musical triptych, as the album seems to be made of three parts. You have part one that is the good old straight forward fast pace rock’n’roll. This is found in the opening track “Good morning midnight” and also in “Simple being sold”, “Bad seeds”, “Sliver & gold” and “A day late in my dollar shorts”. This is also, as to be expected, the biggest part of the three.
Then you have part two which is similar to the first one, but there is a zest of singer Nicke Borgs solo project “Nicke Borg Homeland” to it. This can be heard in “Yes to all no”, “44 undead” and “Laugh now cry later”. When a member of a band goes solo and releases an album or two, and then goes back to record again with their original band they almost always bring some part of the solo music with them. We have seen it happen many times before throughout musical history and Nicke Borg is no exception. For those of you who haven’t heard Nicke Borg Homeland; try to imagine heavy pop influenced rock with an alternative twist packaged in a well-polished casing.
In part three we hear a band that has played together for thirty years and become so comfortable with each other so that they dare to step out of their rock’n’roll fortress for a while. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone can sometimes produce gold and sometimes manure. Personally I like it when bands do that just for the fun of playing something different and new, and in Backyard Babies case I must say that it works. “Shovin rocks” and “Ragged flag” aren’t that far from the rest of the songs on the album, but there is certainly a different feel to them.
“Sliver & Gold” is a solid rock album that contains fast, slow, hard, soft, happy, sad, ups and downs. I miss some oftheir attitude and edge but all in all this is a good album and it makes me curious of what the next album will sound like.
Artist: Backyard Babies
Album: Silver & Gold
Label: Century Media
Date of release: 2019-03-01
Number of tracks: 10
Stand out tracks: Shovin rocks, Ragged flag