Not content with fronting one of Sweden's finest pop-rock exports Fireside, vocalist Kristofer ?ström *has since 1998 been working on this, his solo project, and not surprisingly become one of Sweden’s most respected solo artists in the process. This 6-track EP attempts to let the rest of the world in on his more reflective side, as UK fanzine-turned-US-label *Simba releases this EP spanning his 3 full lengths with an exclusive *Steve Earl *cover thrown in for the completists.
With fellow Fireside, and former *Breach *drummer Per Nordmark in the ranks, an obvious comparison would be with former *Screaming Trees *frontman Mark Lanegan **who, like ?ström, unveiled a more plaintive side to his songwriting during a break from the ‘Trees, that enveloped whiskey-soaked melancholy with tear-stained reflection.
On ‘Plastered Confessions‘ _?ström reveals a similar vibe. This is broken hearts (’Without Your Love’), it’s wondering what might have been (‘Years Since Yesterday’), it’s staring out into empty fields, cigarette smoke drifting over glazed eyes watching nothing and listening to silence with just memories for comfort (‘The Old Man’s Meadow’_).
But while these appear to be recurrent themes throughout his work, the music, as stripped down and minimalist as it is, can at times appear to bypass any real sense of melody, instead pursuing a rustic feel with the addition of a mandolin, banjo, harmonica and accordion that tend to clutter up such a simplistic template.
Fans of Fireside and Breach may be disappointed but those who find themselves lying back on a rickety old porch with a pipe & slippers now and again may be able to give it a home.
4Mat Hocking's Score