Robert Pehrsson's Humbaker - Out of the Dark
High Roller Records
Melodic Rock
10 songs (32'57")
Release year: 2019
Reviewed by Alex

Without really knowing the mood of Robert Pehrsson’s Humbaker Out of the Dark, but looking for something safe, pleasant and inoffensive to listen to, I was genuinely surprised as to how positive the album sounds. Out of the Dark (not to be confused with A Sound of Thunder Out of the Darkness) is almost uplifting, and generally this is not the feeling emanating from a rock album … unless this is 70s retro rock, basic riff driven, with faintly recognizable melodies, simple on the surface, accessible immediately, with songs being short concise packages.

Robert doesn’t like when his music is called retro, but I can’t help myself since All I Need is Not to Need You reminds me of Neon Knights with its melodic chug, and Entombed in Time channels Rainbow with its also familiar intones after acoustic beginning. Awaiting the Return of the Light is a bit more energetic with hooks digging in deeper, just like Surrender, after keyboard arrangement ebbs away. Everybody’s Here has a stoner vibe with almost Pulp Fiction hook, and Aphelion is somewhat prideful and heroic, but all notions of hard rock fade away in beyond naïve flowery These Words or King Kobra, only softer, Castle Turns to Dust. It is Pick Me Up, however, that one more time epitomizes almost unrealistic optimism Robert is trying to convey.

It is also surprising, coming from a guitarist by trade, that Robert doesn’t make solos or in your face guitar playing the centerpiece on Out of the Dark. The solos aren’t overextended, fit the context, yet when the album was over I could only remember the melodic insert in Careless Lover and arpeggios in Entombed in Time. If one thing is for sure, Out of the Dark will not work as an instrumental album, and thankfully, Robert lends his soft voice to color up the stock chords.

I was feeling rather shitty these last couple of weeks, and that was the reason to not pick a pounding heavy album to review, yet instead of putting a smile on my face Out of Dark caused a bit of a pondering shoulder shrug. It is pleasant, yet fleeting, to be listened to once, to appreciate it for a short duration, while it is on, but probably not revisited anytime soon.

Killing Songs :
Careless Lover, Entombed in Time
Alex quoted 72 / 100
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