Transport League – Boogie From Hell (Metalville Records)Thursday, 13th November 2014
Originally self-released by the band last year, Boogie from Hell, the fifth album from Swedish rock metallers Transport League, serves as a semi-reminder of the stronghold attitude-laden rock has on metal bands from Sweden. By no means are Transport League a full-fledged metal band, with a lot of their early output, most notably 2000’s enjoyable Satanic Panic, having the same swagger, but this brand of heavier-than-rock has its place in today’s landscape, particularly if everyone wants to judge it against the current barometer band, Volbeat. Alas, Volbeat Transport League are not, yet for a comeback album (this was their first new platter in ten years), Boogie from Hell has some grit.
Vocalist Tony Jelencovich (a man who has done time in about 80 other bands) still remains the focal point of the band’s sound. He’s technically not a singer or screamer, falling somewhere in between a place where angry punk meets tough-guy metal, which is pretty much how he translates across the album’s 11 songs. Certain cuts have legitimate size to them, like the well-named opener “Swing Satanic Swing,” or “Hi-Octane Slave,” one of the album’s more blunt and rough cuts. Yet it’s the rock ‘n’ groove approach found on “Holy Motherfucker” as well as “Snake Infested Swamp” that best encapsulate Transport League circa 2013/2014 as a band with equal footing in several rock-related camps.
With little or no presence here in the States since their early 00’s heyday, one will be interested to see how Boogie from Hell fares now that the band is a fully-functioning again. Moreover, just the fact that Transport League are back in action is probably all the band needs given the near-misses and stop-starts of their career.