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The Works

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There is a whole lot to like in the Works' debut CD: first of all, Andreas Stellan's passionate singing, then the group's knack for melodies, the hyperactive drummer, and the boasting, everything-way-too-loud mix that propels the album straight to psychedelic/acid nirvana. Reference points should include Bardo Pond, Skye Klad, the Tea Party, early Pink Floyd ("Welcome," so Syd Barrett), and Dungen — the latter another Swedish band with which the Works share members and guest musicians, including Mattias Gustavsson and Reine Fiske appearing on several tracks each. The group clearly aims at a vintage sound, with the help of gritty guitars, Hammond organ, flute, and Mellotron. Stellan sings his English lyrics with a nice soft accent, but his charm relies mostly in his assured delivery, powerful lungs, and enjoyable tenor tone. If it weren't for the Paisley touches and acid overdriven sound, his voice could push the band's songs away from psychedelia and straight into stadium rock. Guitarist Martin Fogelström is not particularly stellar, but he knows the moves of the genre and plays them well. Drummer Johan Holmegard is a regular Keith Moon type, bringing some lightness to the otherwise heavy moods. Songs like "Everybody," "Speak Your Mind," and "The Tale" have a strong summery feel, but the Works shine best in slower numbers, like "Time to Wake Up" and "Slow as She Goes," songs in which their melodic sense is much more developed. Some listeners will complain about the saturation and indeed it seems that the Works' songs could reach a larger audience if they were cleaned up. But this "genre" approach gives the band a larger-than-life attitude that is totally rock & roll. ~ François Couture, Rovi

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