Thomas Andersson – vocals, guitar
Per Wiberg – bass
Tobias Strandvik – drums
Kamchatka – The Search Goes On
2. Tango Decadence
3. Coast To Coast
4. Son of the Sea
5. Broken Man
7. Cross the Distance
8. Thank You For Your Time
10. The Search Goes On
Running time: 41:15
From the opening wails of Thomas Andersson's guitar on first track “Somedays,” you get an impression of what this record is all about. The Search Goes On is album number five from blues rock band Kamchatka, and it's a record that is gloriously drenched in pulsating rhythms and raucous rock rebellion. With The Search Goes On, Kamchatka has managed to create an album that effortlessly pays homage to its influences while keeping one foot firmly on the solid ground of 2014, making it an essential record for fans of the genre young and old alike. The band sites the likes of Cream and Led Zeppelin as its key influences, so the record's sound should come as no surprise. Perhaps most pleasant is the tightness with which the band is currently performing. Opener “Somedays” is packed full of intricate and overtly technical guitar riffs that chug along throughout the track's four and a half minutes, with Andersson adding a soulful croon right the way through. In he opener, as with the rest of the record, the solos come at just the right moment. Clearly the band has an ear for good song-writing, as the record is full of it.
“Tango Decadence” is pushed on by some bog standard drum work, but it's the vocal of Andersson that stands on this track, his vocal soaring throughout – Andersson may not have the technical ability to match the Miles Kennedys or Chris Cornells of the world but he has the passion and he has the soul to rival anybody in the genre. “Coast to Coast” is one of the more rambunctious efforts on the record, as it heads of in multiple different directions like the snakes of Medusa. The track fails to ignite in all honesty, but it's jammed full of more intriguing guitar work. “Son of the Sea” once again puts emphasis on some smashing guitar work, from it's blasphemous opening riff to its impressive solo that so far resembles the album's peak.
As the album progresses, the body of work really begins to come together, as if each venomous riff was another piece of the puzzle falling into place. “Broken Man” sees the band take their foot off the pedal somewhat, choosing to focus on another standout vocal performance. The guitar ploughs away in the background, a melancholy backdrop for Andersson's vocal warbles and the web they weave. “Pressure” is another track that relies heavily on dirty, great, big riffs and it's all the better for it. There's more than enough sleaze in these guitar licks, but it's the rambling drums in the background that really make this track stand out for me; it's the first time that the drum work has really taken centre stage. “Cross the Distance” opens menacingly with drums and axe combining dangerously to create a macabre vibe – there's also some damn good basslines prominent on this track as well, one of the better ones on the record. “Thank You For Your Time” is a call to arms, a mammoth, pulsating rock riot of filthy riffs and gritty vocals. Like the majority of the album, it wears it's influences well but it takes no prisoners and isn't afraid of going of in unexpected directions.
Penultimate track “Dragons” opens with another bluesy riff, like a tantalizing and seductive beast. All of a sudden the electric guitar drops out to be replaced with a more down-tempo, acoustic affair and the rattling of Srandvik's cymbals. Andersson;s vocal takes centre stage here and it's a belting song, with the swaggering riffs coming back into play later on. The album closes with its title track, which begins with a more understated riff before breaking into an overbearing wall of noise with scattered drums and chugging riffs galore. It's a belting way to end the record, encompassing everything that's strong about The Search Goes On. Vocally it's not one of the album's best songs, but the music keeps you on your toes, spiralling off in a dozen different directions, with frequent tempo changes, glorious riffs breaking through grey clouds and of course, one final, bludgeoning guitar solo.
What The Search Goes On offers is a far-reaching trip down memory lane. Kamchatka wears its influences on its sleeve, paying homage to the hard rock and blues of the late 60s and early 70s, but at the same time the record feels essentially in todays landscape. Scandinavian artists have an uncanny knack for making astounding rock and metal music, and this is an album that any rock fan can enjoy. Powerful vocals are aplenty, and the prominent axe work is pleasing if not technically mind-blowing. In opposition to the band's previous records, it carries a shorter running time and seems to have a much more driven focus and that makes The Search Goes On such an easy and enjoyable listen. The Search Goes On is probably the best pure rock record I've heard all year.
Kamchatka - “Tango Decadence”
The 411: The Search Goes On is an essential record to have playing when you've got the boys round for drinks, and when you pick your poison you better make sure it's straight whiskey. The solos are blistering, the vocals are incredibly soulful and it all comes together wonderfully for a rock record with so much swagger it can barely be contained at times. Make no mistake, while the album leans heavily on its influences, it sits high and mighty among today's American mainstream acts making similar music – the grittiness of some of the axe work here would make Clutch blush, and Clutch have not long put out a phenomenal record. Kamchatka could have faltered having lost long-time song-writer and bassist Roger Oljesson since the previous record, but former Opeth man Per Wiberg becomes a permanent member and seamlessly fills the void, his basslines being key to the success of numerous tracks. With this album, Kamchatka have made a record that will appeal to broad spectrum of rock fans and should make people stand up and take notice. A thoroughly enjoyable mix of new and old, The Search Goes On is the filthiest breath of fresh air you'll ever inhale.