I’ve been away for a while; does being a part of the “Classic Rock Revival” still consist of thinking you’ve made it because you’ve waxed your newly-grown moustache, purchased everything from the Joe Browns catalogue, and bought yourself onto a magazine’s cover-mounted disc? No? Maybe? To be honest, I don’t think the argument is really relevant in regards to this album review because, thankfully, authenticity, like natural talent, has a tendency to rise up and out of the quality control quagmire.


‘Mountain of Sugar’ is the second studio album from Swedish throwbacks, Heavy Feather, and it is a bit of a stormer. Recorded in Stockholm with producer Erik “Errka” Petersson at the controls (as was the case with the band’s debut album, 2019’s ‘Debris & Rubble’), with help from master masterer, Magnus Lindberg (Imperial State Electric, Lucifer), and Pink Floyd’s former mixer table, this eleven-track long player is a relatively faultless exercise in retro rock that throws out audio love letters to the roots rock scene of the Sixties and Seventies, hitting pretty much every mark.


Free, Cream, and Lynyrd Skynyrd are major influences that feature on the band’s press information and, yes, you’ll find that not just the sounds but also the spirit of those legendary outfits haunt proceedings here, but ‘Mountains of Sugar’ never falls into soundalike territory: there is a warm familiarity to every track on this great album more akin to meeting up with an old friend – something I’m sure we’re all desperate to do in these strange days.


Yes, this is record listening of a certain vintage; the dragging on of headphones, the pouring of a favourite beverage, and the losing of oneself in the grooves. Pulling the listener into the songs is, without question, the voice of Lisa Lystam. Hers is one of the most effortlessly wonderful rock voices that I have been lucky enough to hear in some time. Raw at times, siren song at others, this bluesy gift from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Gods is more than an impressive set of pipes – this is an art instillation.


Songs like opener, ’30 Days’, ‘Too Many Times’, and ‘Come We Can Go’ will make any earthy rock playlist with ease, while ‘Love Will Come Easy’, given half a chance, could be a breakout hit that catapults Heavy Feather up a division or two. Think about the cult status and love afforded prime Vintage Trouble and you’ll have an idea as to where this Swedish gem should find itself when this second album’s cycle has come to its natural conclusion.


A dark horse for many a Best Albums list come the end of the year, for sure.  Facebook / Instagram / Bandcamp

Author: Gaz Tidey