Future Elephants? (yes, the question mark is part of the band name) is a relatively new Swedish rock band formed by four rock veterans. The most well known member outside of Sweden is probably the singer Roger Holegård who fronted Neon Rose, one of the earliest Swedish hard rock bands, that released three albums for Vertigo in the mid Seventies. However, the other members Dante Holmberg on guitar, Anders Lundquist on bass and Sigvard Frenzell on drums are all excellent musicians that have made their mark in Swedish rock history through the years. Also, they all sing backing vocals.
Some of you may have read my last chronicle “To the Seventies and back, again…” about how glad I was that I found two new bands (Presto Ballet and YYNOT) that kept the spirit of the music from the seventies alive in todays rock climate. Well, I could easily have included Future Elephants? as well in that chronicle, as both their new album “Humans Passing Through” and their self titled debut from 2016 sounds like it might have been produced in the early part of the seventies, and that is in my book a good thing.
This is hardly a metal album but if it was released in the seventies it would most definitely be labeled hard rock. I really liked their debut and this, their second album, is even better. It’s quite different but without losing their sound and style. The music is pretty original and varied but at the same time very familiar and sometimes you get the same earie suggestive feeling as on the earliest Blue Öyster Cult albums. Mostly due to Dante Holmbergs tasteful guitar work and Anders Lundquist excellent bass lines. I also love that Dante Holmberg and Sigvard Frenzel added some mellotron (Stolen Credit Cards) and piano (A Last Farewell) respectively. On the fifth track “Free World’s Falling Down” Alicia Frenzell ads some beautiful vocals that really is the icing on the cake for that song. I actually love all the songs on the album and it’s very hard to pick a favorite track as they are all very good or really great. There is just one part of “An Other Pint of Ale” that I’m not that fond of, the refrain. I was never a fan of “drunken singalongs”, but I guess that it fits the lyrics and now I’m used to it. The seven songs on the vinyl clocks in at 40 minutes, a perfect length for an album in my opinion, while the CD also features the bonus track “Bo-Toxic” which is the song that reminds me mostly of the first record. This song is just as good as the rest of the album, especially as it features a short tasteful and cool bass solo from Anders Lundquist. This song is not on Spotify either, so if you want it you need to get the CD.
If you are new to Future Elephants? I would suggest that you listen to the album at least five times before you decide what you think of it, as this is a grower. Extra plus for the great artwork on the cover that continues in the same style as the debut. This is most definitely a candidate for my top ten albums list when it’s time to summarize 2020. I’m already longing for a third album.
Artist: Future Elephants?
Title: Humans Passing Through
Label: Rock Music Production
Date of release: 131/1-20
Time: 40.00 vinyl (43.56 CD)
Standout track: Stolen Credit Cards