Do you like Queen, Boston, and other purveyors of ’70s rock anthems? If so, check out the debut from singer/ guitarist Hasse Fröberg, who’s best known as co-vocalist for Sweden’s Flower Kings. Hasse (pronounced Hah-see) holds down the heavy rhythm riffs on his trademark Les Paul goldtop, while leadman Anton Lindsjö adds fretboard-scorching leads that bring to mind everyone from Michael Schenker to Slash to countryman Yngwie Malmsteen. There are also catchy harmony-guitar lines that sing in true ’70s style. But the stars of the show are Hasse’s big-ass guitar riffs and soaring tenor voice.
Cue up the 10-minute “Fallen Empire” for the kind of sing-along chorus that’s hard to get out of your head, yet it’s also full of prog-rock allusions galore, a nod to his 15 years singing in the Flower Kings. The metalish riffing that launches “Above” wouldn’t be out of place on a vintage Journey or Styx record, while “I Wouldn’t Change a Thing” has a great, Thin- Lizzy-inspired guitar harmony and Toto-fueled chorus. Sure, we all like earthy blues, country and bluegrass guitar playing, but every once in a while, you need to get in your car and crank up some serious heavy rock while cruising down the road. The new Hasse Fröberg record achieves that kind of radio-cranked, FM nirvana.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.