Hailing from Alingsås, Sweden, a town located just north of Gothenburg (the birthplace of melodic death metal), Sundown Delay is not the kind of band one would expect coming from this area. In its press release, the band depicts Alingsås as “a shithole of a town” with its most prominent figure being a man who introduced the potato into Swedish meals in the 1700s.
Sundown Delay is a Nordic trio with a much more traditional hard rock sound; the group describes the sound as “New Wave of British Heavy Metal and psychedelia draped in classic pop harmonies.” This is something far removed from the digital sounds of keyboards emanating from the Gothenburg melodic metal scene just 45 minutes away.
The first album, Catching Up With The Future was released as a duo; Bassist Björn Ericsson had yet to join the band until after its release. Now, as a three piece, the EP Rubik’s Cube is Fighting Back will be released on April 25th according to the band’s website.
The opening track, Vote for U.P.P. (Ugly People Party) is an anthem for the physically unattractive. “It’s time for the ugly people to rise,” Widerström sings. This piece fits into the category of classic blues-rock. The guitar sound is very straightforward; the only obvious effect heard here is distortion. The unexpected element here is the use of the trumpet, which appears only during the chorus and doesn’t reappear due to the chorus not repeating itself.
On Clever Dog, Widerström belts out high frequency vocals that sound remarkably similar to Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. As much as I hate to say it, the guitar tone also sounds much like Led Zeppelin. This tone is very clean and has a lot of highs to it as well, like the one made famous by Jimmy Page. During the bridge, psychedelic effects are employed which are likely coming from a chorus pedal. Another notable aspect of the bridge is that at one point, drummer Nanne Westerholm sounds as if he’s beating on metallic objects that one would suspect are not his drum kit.
The lead guitar parts to Almost a Love Song have a bit of a country twang to them. The guitar kicks off the intro with a faded tone, as if guitarist/vocalist Svante Widerström has his tone knob dialed almost all the way down. Widerström’s vocals are again high-end. This tune is charming due to its simplicity. This song and others such as Ups and Downs from the first album are much like nursery rhymes in a way due to their basic and jovial nature.
Slaveboy is a mixture of hardcore punk mixed with surf rock. The verse is filled with fast, palm muted picking and defiant shouting. The chorus is quite the opposite with its cleanly picked guitar melody with a happy-go-lucky disposition. The ease with which the group transitions between these stylistically opposed sections is what stands out most here.
Listening to this band made me realize how influential early hard rock acts such as a Black Sabbath can be. Here you have a band surrounded by new-age melodic metal that are inspired by bands from a different time and place. If there’s one thing to be said about the current state of music today it’s this: It only takes a closer look around to find something different.