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Robert Pehrsson's Humbucker - Long Way To The Light

Robert Perhsson's Humbucker
Long Way To The Light
by Anna Chase at 03 April 2017, 9:33 AM

ROBERT PEHRSSON is truly a jack-of-all-trades within the metal community. He’s been around for quite a while- since ‘86- and in his more than 20 years in the music industry, he’s played Thrash, Death Metal, and Power Metal before branching out more recently to Hard Rock and Blues. Pehrsson was a central member of European death metal bands MASTICATOR and DEATHWITCH, but now helps produce his own music, including his newest self-titled classical rock album “Robert Pehrsson’s Humbucker.” Now, despite being a teenage girl, my metal tastes are pretty extreme. I haven’t listened to a solid Rock album since middle school and instead choose to surround myself with a cloud of Death and Black Metal. However, I was excited to expand my horizons with this album and listen to something a bit more traditional. Pehrsson is from Sweden, but exudes an all-American Rock n’ Roll image. He could fit right in among the ranks of BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and LYNYRD SKYNYRD with ease, and although he’s known mostly for his guitar playing, Pehrsson also had an impressive repertoire of songwriting and singing.

“Send Her My Love,” the first track, is a Classic Rock song, pure and simple. The guitar is clean and almost acoustic in parts, and Pehrsson’s voice is a spot-on tenor that never misses a note. The drums are slightly simplistic, but work well with the bubbly, Bluesy riffs and don’t overwhelm the listener. The chorus, which is incredibly catchy, relates to the Classic Rock theme of love and loss and plays well off of the soulful vocals. The next song, “Distant Bound,” has a decidedly bluesy attitude and a strong central groove supported by the background drums. The bass in this track really stood out to me- while it for the most part mirrored the guitar riffs, it added a further richness and layered quality to the tune. The solo screams VAN HALEN at me, and the chorus demonstrates Pehrsson’s uncanny ability to create addictive melodies. “Traveling Through the Dark” opens with the peculiar choice of an air-raid wail, but quickly dives into a song that is five minutes of pure 80’s sound. I especially liked the vocals in this track, which took elements from traditional Power Metal, and the chugging guitar which gave the song the drive it needed to not fall behind. The drums weren’t particularly complicated, but in certain places they complimented the other instruments perfectly and laid down a solid background to showcase the guitar and singing. “Break Away From This Broken Heart” sounds like a very cliché Country-infused Rock n’ Roll song. I wasn’t very impressed with this one- while a musically solid track, the rhythm sounded overused and repetitive and the guitar riffs weren’t as engaging or complex as their precursors. “Pretender,” the next track, was far stronger musically. I liked the isolated effect Pehrsson’s voice had, and the toned down bluesy riffs gave the rhythm a layered effect that added depth. The addition of the tambourine also made the song stand out from the others.

“Zero Emotion” was a twangy, catchy anthem with a highly singable chorus and a blasting solo that gave this track a slightly heavier tone than some of the others. The drums also stood out in this track, especially since the percussion was slightly more complex here than in many others. Pehrsson is known for his guitar prowess- however, it was refreshing to hear a track that didn’t center solely around his riffs. “Long Way to the Light,” the next song, is a raw-sounding and powerful track with more distortion than Pehrsson usually has. The chugging riffs and screaming solo evokes a slightly THIN LIZZY-ish influence to the melody while still maintaining the track’s uniqueness. “The Somber Sleeps” is anything but somber. The track sounds slightly similar to some of the other tracks on the album, but the addition of the keyboard track in the background creates a distinctive element. The solo is slower than Pehrsson’s normal pace, but still clearly demonstrates his talent for guitar. The last track, “No I Don’t,” is probably one of my favorites on the album. It’s the best example of Pehrsson’s Blues-Rock sound combined with a funky drum rhythm and gritty, melodic riffs. While the track is short, the flawless guitar work and catchy harmonies carry over after the album is done. Overall, Pehrsson’s obvious talent and passion for guitar playing and singing is the best part of this album. While I found some of the songs to be a bit repetitive and overly simplifies for my taste, “Long Way to the Light” is sure to be a hit for any Classic Rock fans and evokes the nostalgia of the 80’s in every track.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 4
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Send Her My Love
2. Distant Bound
3. Traveling Through the Dark
4. Break Away from This Broken Heart
5. Pretender
6. Zero Emotion
7. The Hollow in a Rising Tone
8. The Somber Sleeps
9. No I Don’t
Robert Pehrsson- Vocals and guitar

Contributing Artists on the Album:

Nicke Andersson
Dolf De Borst och Tomas Eriksson (Imperial State Electric)
Peter Stjärnvind (Nifelheim, Black Trip)
Joseph Tholl (Enforcer, Black Trip)
Robert Eriksson (ex The Hellacopters)
Olle Dahlstedt (Entombed)
Johan Bäckman (Necrocourse)
Record Label: High Roller Records


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