Graveyard + Earthless @ Venue Nightclub – December 12th 2015

A heavy toned,Scandinavian rock outfit, Graveyard performed at Vancouver’s Venue with enthusiasm, attitude and a notable professional tightness. With gorgeous ringing guitar harmonies and a strong set of new songs, Graveyard distinguished themselves with a memorable, enthusiastic performance with abundant energy and  fine musical form.

The evening’s shown included a promising opening act; playing support for the evening were Earthless, a set of San Diego space-blues rockers three piece who master in extended, meandering guitar-solo driven epics. Having played a Rickshaw Theatre show this past  fall, Earthless have a budding local fan base as the appeal of their high octane celestial jams is most self explanatory. Playing long, spacey, blues jams, guitarist Isaiah Mitchell wields a heavily worn wooden stratocaster as if it were an extension of his own body. With clean, dynamic and sweeping guitar work, Mitchell performs with euphoric focus. He plays guitar as if from another world, deep in meditative concentration and aware only of of bassist Mike Eginton and drummer Mario Rublacaba.  Clad in a Willie Dixon t-shirt, Mitchell had steady beads  of sweat dripping down his face,  his perspiration helping to confirm the meditative awesomeness of an Earthless show; the band are simply phenomenal, the only complaint of the audience was that their dense sonic explorations was limited to a scant 40 minutes. For a band like Earthless that’s only time enough for three songs but the band was still a special treat as a supporting act that is good enough to co-headline.

Earthless are a tough act to follow; the simple fact that Graveyard were not out-staged by this exceptionally talented opening act speaks volumes for band’s musical ability. Touring in support of their new record Innocence & Decadence, Graveyard demonstrated their formidable musical forces with beautiful hollow-bodied guitars, a quality set of new songs, and beaming stage presence.


            Graveyard – Innocence & Decadence

A seasoned, well adapted four piece, Graveyard play heavy rock with a healthy dose of blues influence. Guitarists Jonatan Larocca-Ramm and Joakim Nilsson played in deadly unison, with crisp, clear guitars resonating in sweet, full bodied harmonies. Touring in support of their fourth record, the band retain youthful passion but are a little older and wiser; the new album sounds both confident and casual. Beyond sharply synchronized chemistry and the tasteful amp’d up Swedish flavour of blended blues and 60’s style rock, the Graveyard write some really great songs; “The Apple and the Tree” burned with a steady, fiery enthusiasm.

Expanding their spectrum, Graveyard play with gospel influences surface on “Too Much Is Not Enough,” a song with a clean, retro drum beat,  wandering, smooth guitar and impassioned vocals that flexes from a quiet verse into a formidable  chorus. While Graveyard can still touch on the occasional dark, menacing tones and terrific attitudes, the persistent energy of  Innocence & Decadence is a successful update of style that demonstrates the band’s continued musical growth.

A top-notch heavy rock/blues band with a few, fun Swedish eccentricities, the band members were elated to see so much love from the audience on their first stop in Vancouver. Their meaty toned, 60’s & early 70’s throwback rock is downright fun; the audience simply had a blast. Add in Earthless as an opener, and you’ve got yourself one of the city’s best double billed shows of the year.  On this evening, both graveyard and outer-space showed plenty of signs of overflowing life.

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