Hoven Droven

Jumping at the Cedar

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There's a darkness about Swedish music that actually fits well with the rock sensibility, and Hoven Droven have made a career from combining the two. This double live set, recorded at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, shows just how well they make the two styles fit together -- you can't even see the seam. They dive into the music with absolute glee, pulling no punches and taking no prisoners, although, for all their wildness, there's real discipline in their playing, and they can turn in some filigreed delicacy, as on the Irish-inflected "Kom Hem." It's pedal to the metal (in more ways than one) from the word go, but they really let loose on the second disc after they return for a long encore set, where guitarist Bo Lindberg really lets loose with a solo on "Skvadern" that belongs on a heavy rock album, but which works perfectly here. Everything comes down to a gentle end with "Tornas" to conclude the proceedings. Only when it's over do you realize that you've been wanting to cheer with the crowd and you're running with sweat. It's that live, and it's that good.

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