It rumbles and rattles, the sound is crunchy, it's as if it came from a ramshackle garage in a Swedish backyard. Although large parts of Sweden may seem quite tranquil, Swedish musicians know how to hit the nail on the head and understand thoroughly how to officially rock. The young Swedes Christian & The 2120's demonstrated in their latest album, "Nolo Contendere", an audible soft-spot for classic rock and its tattered offshoot blues-rock.
Christian Smedström's 12-song collection could be called classical roots-rock. A bubbling brew, it seems rooted knee-deep in the seventies. The guitars fire erratically and the drums thunder violently, with psychedelic moments evoked by various reverb effects and an intoxicating piano. This is all a little reminiscent of the humid south of France wine cellar where the ROLLING STONES recorded their "Exile on Main Street" sessions. Then one thinks a bit of ZZ TOP, or even of the more recent, so seductive musicians MORELAND and ARBUCKLE. Greasy, sweaty and in short sleeves. Completely transparent, free, open, away from the usual restrictive conventions, focusing on the blues, but simply going out, the main thing is that it's fun, someone out there will like this stuff.
Yes sir, Mr. Smedström, this weird melange really does it for me. What? "Nolo Contendere"? You're putting the blame on yourself, Mr. Smedström? I nevertheless accuse you of having recorded this album so that the pure enjoyment of playing and a fresh carefree musicality is not to be dismissed out of hand. Well, now what?
Frank Ipach, Hooked on music, Germany, 14.05.2010