Guess who’s back? Someone you might not have heard of: the Moonlight Wranglers from Sweden! I used to be a big fan before losing contact with them for awhile. Frontman Jakob Sandström (any relation to my favourite Swedish singer Bo Sundström?) and the rest of the band are Heartland rock and classic country-influenced musicians with a flare for compelling, hard-driving ballads and up-tempo pieces. Don’t worry, they’re in English. Although some Swedish-language material would be pretty cool.
“Moonlight Wranglers has been together since the spring of 2002. They started off as a very mellow and soft band but have during the time developed into a rock act,” reads their Facebook page.
It’s ironic, then, that this Gothenburg, Sweden group has a more classic Heartland rock, folk-country sound than most of the music coming out of the U.S. in the past couple of decades. The Wranglers have been playing out on the road, bringing their harmonica, steel guitar style to people all over their country, and it just takes one listen to see that they seriously rock in a folksy, country way (i.e. more than rock music, proper, which I’m not a big fan of).
“Port City” is a three song EP, with the faster up-tempo title track and slower “No One Knows.” Standout piece for me was “Anything, Anytime,” a great track that feels like Aussie band Cold Chisel and Bruce Springsteen meeting Paul Westerberg on a good night.
This is one group that really deserves a big break. Great stuff. 9/10