Armed And Ready – Kerrang! 1981 – Geoff Banks

AND FROM Sweden, the land of the beached Russian submarines, we have the EF Band.
In those halcyon heavy metal days of ’78 us Brits didn’t have it all our own way, fed up with their country’s narrow minded views on English speaking (singing) groups, the EF Band made the first of their many assaults on the unsuspecting British public. As bassist and vocalist Per Ericson points out “back home if you don’t sing in Swedish it is very hard to get gigs, the Swedish are very proud of.

their language and, with the exception of Abba, English singing groups are ignored by Record Companies and Promoters but to us it is the universal language of heavy rock and so we decided to come to Britain”
Pretty soon after their arrival in this country the band set up their first nationwide tour and drafted in drummer Dave Dufort, who recalls: “The first tour went really well but when we went back to play in Sweden it was stupid because over there they have a system which finances bands that sing in Sweden, even though they can’t play. At some gigs we were supported by rubbishy groups who had all this expensive equipment paid for by the Government.”
Anyway. The band were soon asked to record a track for the “Metal For Muthas” album, the track was fighting “Fighting For Rock And Roll, which when released, generated enough interest for the band to sign to Redball Records, who subsequently released the “Self Made Suicide” single. The single made a lengthy stay in the in Sounds Alternative chart, eventually reaching No. 12 and the follow up received advance orders of over 6,000, a fact not unnoticed by Mercury Records in Europe who promptly signed the band and re-released “Devils Eye.”
Prior to the recording of the band’s debut album Dave Dufort left to be replaced by Dag Ellason, who joined Per Ericson and founder guitarist Bengt Fischer to record “The Last Laugh Is On You”, an album, criminally as yet unreleased in this country. Musically “TLLIOY” stands head and shoulders above a lot of the dross currently masquerading as heavy metal. A powerful blend of early seventies blues metal and more recent speed riffing.
Guitarist Bengt Fischer explains why the recent album is called “The Last Laugh Is On You”. “It is meant as an up you to the people in Sweden who did everything they could to stop us succeeding with our so called “Capitalist. Imperialist” brand of music.”
If Mercury don’t release this album here soon. The last laugh’s on them.



ON WHICH Sweden’s self-proclaimed numero uno heavy rock band stop sounding like a bunch of dust-bin amateurs, and make desperate efforts to broaden their credibility towards the international Rainbow/Journey melodic hard rock market.
I say ‘try’ because what this album shows up is the band’s total lack of either initiative or inspiration. It’s highly significant that the two songs which stand several heads above all else in terms of commercial appeal are both Russ Ballard numbers, viz ‘Love is A Game’ and ‘Is Anybody There’.
It’s ironic that only when the band drop their sub-melodic guard and go for the ‘plop-plod-plock’ sound of bruising metal via ‘Tonight’s Alright’ do they cut through. Even then, most of the credit must go to guitarist Bengt Fischer, who is several classes better than the rest of the hand. delivering with passion and verve.
If ‘DC’ is the best shot from Sweden’s finest HM band, then all I can say is-come back ABBA, all is for forgiven.

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