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The Summit - 'Higher Ground'

posted 23 Nov 2015, 06:38 by Paul Woodward

(Pride & Joy Records)

Review by Woody

The Summit are quirky rockers who mix seventies hard rock influences with strong pop sensibilities, think a mash up between Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, It’s not actually as crazy as it sounds. The Swedish act features 220 Volt guitarist Mats Karlsson, Easy Action drummer Bjorn Hoglund and Marmalade Souls vocalist Michael Klemme.

Whilst I could see their debut album ‘Higher Ground’ appealing greatly to retro rockers who enjoy Fleetwood Mac and other strong pop edged rock acts of the seventies, it just doesn’t hit or excite me. It’s a pleasant enough listen and is actually quite relaxing back ground music with its easy vocal harmonies and pop melodies but ultimately it leaves no lasting impression on me.

I think it’s the varied melting pot of influences and styles thrown into the song writing that will intrigue and interest listeners. Sometimes there is some Robert Plant style vocals, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix style guitar riffage, Fleetwood Mac and Elton John style song structures and large dollops of quirky Beatles type melodies. It really is a mixed bag and they do blend it all up nicely.

If you know the musicians involved with the Summit you’ll know their high calibre so it’ll be no shock to you to hear a top notch level of musicianship throughout the album, some great guitar hooks and vocal lines. But as always it doesn’t matter how talented you are if a song doesn’t captivate a listener then ability becomes secondary. I do feel someone with an affinity to the seventies will have a very different opinion to me on this album but beyond ‘Only Human’ I find the album quite forgettable.

All the musicians involved with The Summit aimed to create an album that echoed the seventies and they have definitely accomplished that in spades as it overflows with seventies rock styles and influences. It does feel like an album they made for themselves and a way for them to pay homage to an influential musical template on their lives but that self indulgence also makes me feel only fans who share that same love and affection for that era will actually enjoy these songs.

If retro pop rock tickles your fancies then I whole heartedly recommend giving ‘Higher Ground’ a once over. It’s not for everyone though and it may fail to impress causal rock fans but I do feel if you dig it you’ll dig it hard!

Track Listing: Turn It Off / W.O.W / One Way Highway / Circle The Sun / The Calling / Only Human / Water To Wine / Not My Country / The Higher Ground / All Die Young

Album Rating: 6/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Only Human