Henke Wermelin and His New Love “Spitting Distance”

Sweet Baby Jesus Records 2023

Swedish Americana with a Gothic twist that only occasionally hits the mark.

henke Wermelin cover artOpening with the suitably dark ‘Bring Me My Shotgun’ Wermelin throws the entire kitchen and then the sink at delivering a rumbling, Crampsy rocker with its tale of revenge but it does seem a bit forced, creating atmosphere with a series of cliches. The Waitsian growl, the discordant guitars and the fade into chaos. ‘Fruits Of My Labour‘ is better, far less forced as a simple ballad on acoustic guitar with piano colours and Wermelin singing in his natural tones. The harmonica is just right although somewhat hackneyed and the tune stands up for itself.

When We Move Back’ is an interesting song in so much as Wermelkin has written himself a song that he struggles to hit the high notes on. The song itself is an upbeat piece, when compared to the rest of the album, with some interesting harmonies and the coda develops into an earworm that lingers. With ‘Pack My Bags‘ we’re back to the rockabilly of the opening track without the vocal stylings but with added quite odd backing vocals aiming for a B52s vibe but ending up sounding quite different.

Patently Wermelin is an excellent musician with aspirations to creating a powerful statement using his knowledge of Americana roots music, it is unfortunate therefore that this album does not contain enough songs of sufficient quality to demand repeated plays. Wermelin is not a full-time professional musician but this album certainly stands up against many recent releases by full-time artists however he should not quit the day job… just yet anyhow.


About Keith Hargreaves 376 Articles
Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up
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