The Swedes are a side project of Tommi – Holappa of Dozer, who count 20 years of presence with unique stationary member himself. The band has gone through major changes of its line up, but “Hear the rivers” is the third album of the band that keeps the three of its quarter’s firm, which is really important. New member, on the bass, is Hans Fröhlich, who along with Arrid Hällagard (vocals) and Sebastian Olsson (drums) complete the four piece and now seem as a fully integrated group; that the term side project is unjust to them. Especially if you listen to “Hear the rivers” which consciously and in a good sense, commercializes their sound by incorporating some The Black Keys elements. Their influences are apparent with the launch of the album, with strong-fuzzy production so that you can listen to what The Black Keys, Witchcraft and Clutch would like to have released in 2018. The drums come in, shake your head from left to right, the distorted bass shakes you, and there comes a huge riff that leads to moshing with invisible fans. Everything would just be nice but a perfect addictive chorus follows. This is “Let it out”, that makes “Lonely Boy” of The Black Keys a much “paler” song (it is much faster, of course). “Sweet is the sand” is full southern and it is important that it enters just milliseconds after, so that you do not have time to take a breath. “A point of secret” has this Pelanderish sweet perversion and could easily be included in a “Legend II” as a continuation of the famous “Legend” of 2012. “Good Ol’Goat”, is a perfect-do it like Clutch song. This formidable foursome is only the beginning. “Here the rivers” compositions from there and forward become even more complex, sophisticated and give the final verdict for what is nothing less than a really great album. “The rumble and the weight”, “We are the pawns” and “The rivers lullaby” still have partly Witchcraft as their guide, and achieve an exemplary combination of fun and rich melancholic melodies. This is what hard / stoner rock and Greenleaf needed to go one step forward.
Ambitious, elaborate and catchy “Hear the rivers” is an excellent, defiantly inspired work that establishes Greenleaf from being a side project to an important fixed representative of the genre.