Patrik Jansson Band – ‘So Far To Go’ (Sneaky Foot Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 04:00

PJB artworkMusically, over the years Sweden has brought us some of the most innovative and influential metal bands of their generation and some damn fine sleaze rock acts, as well as its fair share of shitty Europop trash… but, it’s not particularly known as a haven for the blues. Well, that’s something that Patrik Jansson is seeking to rectify with this, his third album (and his first in three years).

 

To be brutally honest, however, Jansson isn’t exactly going to shake the blues world to its foundations in the way some of his fellow countrymen have done over the decades. Because, ‘So Far To Go’ is a fairly standard genre album, filled with all the ingredients you would expect – soaring guitar solos, songs about love won and lost, big keyboards swelling in the background… yep, it’s got it all, and in spades.

 

Don’t get me wrong, this is a decent album: it’s just, outside of the occasional flash, it doesn’t really grab, especially at first listen: and, after several spins, it becomes the sort of soundtrack that you put on in background while doing other things, like deciding what bottle of whiskey to open.

 

As intimated, it has its moments… Opener ‘Can’t Get You (Out Of My Head)’ starts proceedings off extremely well, in its well-worked duet with Therese Thomsson, who has a truly beautiful voice and leaves you wanting more – but, unfortunately, that is not forthcoming, not on this occasion at least. The title track is a punchy blast of blues-rock fury, built on Gustaf Andersson’s brilliant B3 sound, which in itself is one of the highlights of the album, while ‘Those Days Are Gone’ is very reminiscent of the late Gary Moore in its tonality, especially on Jansson’s mournful vocal.

 

All of the classic blues references are there: from the Chicago soul of ‘Can’t Get You…’ to the funky Freddie King-influenced instrumental ‘That 70s Thing’. The problem is that, like Joe Bonamassa, it all too often comes across as “blues by numbers”, from trying to cram as many notes as possible into an overlong solo to the lackadaisical transcription of traditional motifs without any attempt to add any originality or stamp any individualism on them.

 

 

Now, don’t get me wrong: Jansson is a decent guitar player – a more than decent one. And the songs in themselves are pleasant listens. But, that’s the inherent problem: it’s all too pleasant, and by and large lacks any real fire in its belly. Which is a pity, as it at times hints of being capable of so much more, especially in the consistently fantastic contributions from Andersson. If you’re a blues fan, it’s nevertheless worth checking out.

 

‘So Far To Go’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.

 

www.facebook.com/patrikjanssonband/

 

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