Backyard Babies – Sliver & Gold

Thirty years later and, rather remarkably with the same line up, Swedish rockers Backyard Babies are still at it, their latest effort Sliver & Gold (Century Media) continues where their 2015 ‘comeback’ album Four By Four (Gain) left off – namely glammed up Punk which fuses together the sounds of Green Day and Motley Crüe, with a bit of The Wildhearts for good measure.

The succinct punky blast of the opening tracks ‘Good Morning Midnight’ and ‘Simple Being Sold’ gets things off to a promising start, raucous, catchy and concise, Backyard Babies are firm believers in ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’. Whilst that ethos has paid dividends for AC/DC, Motörhead and Status Quo, it does not here, as pleasant but forgetful numbers litter the rest of the album, numbers that are missing a certain something, a certain spark.

The best of the rest is ‘Bad Seeds’, a pacey serving of Hard Rock with a welcomed sense of urgency. The rest, whilst not bad by any stretch of the imagination, just pass you by without much of an impact. The ode to their thrty years in the business ‘Shovin Rocks’ is a generic Rock n’ Roll song full of all the usual clichés, that, even on your first listen is overly familiar. The uniquely titled ‘A Day Late in My Dollar Shorts’ is pretty standard fare, lifted somewhat by its earworm of a chorus.

A few tracks have a slight touch of darkness to them – the downtrodden but hopeful ‘Yes To All No’ and the crunchy guitars of ‘44 Undead’. They end the record with a gushy, emotive ballad, the aptly titled ‘Laugh Now Cry Later’ which is akin to the Dropkick Murphys at their slowest.

All told Backyard Babies new album a perfunctory portion of Glam Punk that fans may lap up but, aside from the odd earworm, will pass everyone else by.

5 / 10

THOMAS THROWER