Baltimoore - Original Sin

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Lion Music
Catalog Number: LMC 2006 2
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:13:00

Baltimoore are, on this outing at least, mostly a 70s blues-rock band. Some points of reference would be a laid back AC/DC or Every Picture Tells A Story-era Rod Stewart. Certainly not progressive rock, but there are some interesting bits here on Original Sin. Now, "original" isn't the key word here, and it's a little too tame for "sin," but when the band breaks free from the 70s blues-rock motif, they create some interesting stuff. The two highlights for me are "Omniscience" which is a gutsier, heavier rock piece with metallic overtones, and "Superman" a smoky, shuffling, late-night trad-jazz piece. The rest of the material is, for the most part, take it or leave it blues rock. It's not bad stuff and vocalist Bjorn Lodin's voice isn't so whisky-soaked and husky that it's unlistenable, though after playing this a few times over, my voice feels as raw as his sounds. Not everything works on Original Sin, as the bagpipe-like accents on "Contradiction" are?well, very disconcerting. Honestly, my thought was "Well, those sound rather awful." The track doesn't otherwise, but that bagpipe sound -- maybe it's violin, as no bagpipes are credited -- well, not only are warped sounding, they just don't fit with the rest of the track. Another track that stood out for me, and in a good way, was "Retribution" which begins with a very Thin Lizzy-like groove, like you might expect for the band to launch into "That Smell" or something. They don't, but this strutting rocker, which has some tasty guitar, is one of the nicer tracks on the album. "Recognition" is a balladic, but the best thing about it is the guitar solo from Kurt Lindbom. Lodin's vocals are good as well, but the track follows a very traditional blues arrangement. The closer "Redemption" make me think of In The Dark-period Billy Squier, if a little blusier.

But, for me, as I said, the highlights are "Omniscience" and "Superman." These two tracks actually come back to back, "Superman" appearing first, but not until we're seven songs deep into the album. Couldn't have put this up front, of course, as one would be then either disappointed, or at least surprised, by the rest of the album, but I would have put this track higher in the play order. In fact, the latter third or so of the album contains the most interesting material for the jazz and metal minded among you, the rest is strictly for the blues-rock folks. "Superman" features the warm sax tones of Villu Veski, some perky plucking from guitarist Kurt Lindbom, and some solid piano playing from Lars Pollack. This is the perfect match between Lodin's vocals and some blues-jazz material. An album of this kinda stuff would be welcome. "Omniscience," on the other hand, goes to the other spectrum, or nearly does. As mentioned, it's a muscular, crunchy rocker that just stays this side of metal. This is the more typical fare for the Lion Music roster. Of course, Lodin isn't a stranger to metal, as he is the vocalist with Mattsson (one of Lars Eric Mattsson's bands), and this wouldn't have seem out of place there. Thomas Larson is the axeman here, playing lightening rod-like leads.

Progressive or not, I like this release, and if your tastes range into the blues-rock territory, you might find some stuff of interest here, too.

Conviction / Indecision / Emancipation / Contradiction / Recognition / Retribution / Superman / Omniscience / Jealousy / Redemption

Björn Lodin - guitar, vocals, bass
Thomas Larsson - lead guitar (all but 5, 7)
Joakim Larsson - bass (1, 3, 6, 8)
Lars Pollack - organ, keyboards, electric piano, piano
Eiron Johansson - drums (all but 7)
Weine Johansson - bass (2, 5, 10)
Hans Röjás - violin (4)
Kurt Lindbom - lead guitar (5, 7)
Kjell Dahl - bass (7)
Villu Veski - sax (7)
Thomas Tornefjäll (7)
Jair-Rhome Parker - bass (9)

There's No Danger On The Roof (1989)
Freak (1990)
Double Density (1992)
Thought For Food (1994)
Original Sin (2000)
Best Of Baltimoore (2001)
Ultimate Tribute (2004)

Genre: Rock


Added: July 26th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1070
Language: english


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