Bodinrocker – Roller Coaster Ride

Four short tracks at 15-rapid minutes – from the albums “Eye to Eye,” and “Rock It the Right Way,” this Swedish band has a near-perfect Status Quo sound but they are wholly original in their retro-melodic brilliance. The samples provide excellently recorded chiming guitars that open most of their tunes and track one is quite energetic. Anders Bodin’s lead vocal and guitar imbue old style rock but his tone is such that it richly embraces classic rock in its best most fun form. I see members of Status Quo wondering who hijacked their style when they weren’t looking. Hey, Tracy Chapman did it to Joan Armatrading and Dire Straits and Mason Ruffner did it to Bob Dylan.

“Roller Coaster Ride,” reminds us what American hit radio rock once sounded like – it’s reliable, melodic, driving and a slice of adolescence. To me, this is an ideal summer song. Are you blue? Depressed? Or anxious? Don’t reach for the Zoloft – reach for this EP play the tune and then press replay again. You will run out and buy a Coca-Cola for everyone at the store and you will smile all day – and everyone at the market should be singing the chorus to this with you. This was what The Beach Boys used to do in the early 60’s.

“Vacation,” continues with the wall of chiming guitars and these guys perform with a fun-energy few bands today even understand. This has sun, beach and California sand spilling from every note, and snow-cones melting on the boardwalk. If more kids listened to this music they wouldn’t need psychiatrists – maybe their sugar levels would be higher but what the hell. This music is ear-candy even for an old dude like me. You should listen to this in Bermuda shorts, cheap sunglasses and be holding a Pina Colada. The Beach Boys could cover this song it’s that good.

More three-chord progression delights start “Space,” and this is closer to the artsy style of a late 70’s new wave bands New Musik (“Islands,” “Living By Numbers” & “Straight Lines”)and the classic band Sparks (“Over the Summer,” “Forever Young,” & “At Home, At Work, At Play,”). There’s nothing but smiles when you listen to this brilliance. Is it true Americana? No. But it is a slice of what the 60’s American music used to provide and it made for a happier time. This is hard to ignore because it is infused with nothing but optimism, From the guitars to the voices – you’d have to be dead not to bop your head in time to this musical confection.

The final sample is “Long Way Round,” and it’s really upbeat and it’s a slight dip into the Deaf School text book. Just add a female lead vocalist like Bette Bright to accentuate the same way the lead guitar does. The production would knock out Brian Wilson and Phil Spector. This is a tapestry of colors moving fast in a kaleidoscope. This would get people in wheelchairs moving. More rollicking piano and a blistering sax solo would make this a classic in the tradition of the old Sunrays’ song “I Live for the Sun.” Bodinrocker is today’s Ramones at the beach. Brilliant. The collection was produced by Lars Ekberg and Anders Bodin.

John Apice- No Depression july 18,2018.