by Joe Mis
Gothenburg, Sweden actually produces much more than melodic death metal, and Bodinrocker’s latest release proves it. Mysterious Man is 10 tracks of basically good-natured old-school rock, heavily influenced by the greats of the late 70s and early 80s.
Bodinrocker was Anders Bodin’s teenage nickname, and he’s done a good job of making it stick. Playing guitars, some bass and singing lead, Bodin does his best to deliver big guitar riffs, upbeat blues-based rhythms and inoffensive vocals. Deciding to travel as a solo artist, Bodin worked with keyboard player Lars Ekberg and released Hall Of Flames in 2006. After some modest success in Sweden, Bodin got back into the studio and began work on his sophomore effort, Mysterious Man.
Bodin continues to handle lead vocals and guitars. He is a decent singer with a pleasant and unassuming voice – and his voice is well suited to his preferred style of mellow classic rock. His guitar work is outstanding, and most of his songs have a definite “UFO” feel to them. A decent soloist and catchy rhythm player, Bodin’s music is kicky, bouncy and always melodic. Writing songs about life and living, his lyrics are for the most part positive and at times downright goofy and humorous – filled with references to music, exploration and motorcycles. Only the last two tracks break from this “good time” feel. “Endless Pain” is a bleak song dealing with suicide while “Legend Of The Savior” is a respectful look at the life of Jesus Christ.
Bodin has built a solid band behind him. Co-producer Lars Ekberg does a good job on the keyboards, blending in nicely without dominating, and playing a mean old-school Hammond organ or blues piano. Marcus Sigvardsson is a solid and capable bass player, but for the most part he seems content to be in the background. Drummer Klas Anderhell is an ideal drummer for this style of rock – just flashy enough to really be noticed but not in-your-face obnoxious. The album’s production values are very good – warm and slightly fuzzed while somehow remaining crisp and clean.
Musical highlights include the great guitar solo on “Life Is A Mystery,” the solid vocal performance and hot guitar licks on “526,” the great bluesy groove of “Back On Track,” the peaceful tropical images called up by the lyrics of “This Is Life,” and the general goofy and humorous tone of the toe-tapping “Scooter.”
On the whole, Mysterious Man is a fun album and a good listen. There is nothing offensive or objectionable here – just good music played with enthusiasm and raw talent. While not evolutionary or groundbreaking in any sense, Bodinrocker proves that old-school isn’t dead – or even just resting…
Recommended for any fan of classic rock.
Genre: Classic Rock
Anders Bodin (lead vocals, guitar, tambourine, bass on tracks 3, 4 & 7)
Marcus Sigvardsson (bass)
Klas Anderhell (drums)
Lars Ekberg (keys, backing vocals)
1. Life Is A Mystery
2. Get Me On The Road
4. Back On Track
5. No Destination
6. This Is Life
8. Mysterious Man
9. Endless Pain
10. Legend Of The Savior
Label: Bearman Music (Indie)
Hardrock Haven rating: 7.5/10