Roof Down – Devil’s Machine

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: GMR Music
Released: 2021
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Band line-up:

Johan Sjöberg – vocals
Mats Stille – guitar
Thobbe Hermansen – bass
Staffan Westelius – drums


01. Insane
02. Afraid
03. My Pieces On The Ground
04. Hopeful Wings
05. Devil’s Machine
06. Slipped On A Stone
07. The Fire
08. Never
09. In A Dream
10. Something’s Wrong
11. Save Me And You


Many amazing rock genres emerged or came to prominence in the 90s, Grunge being the biggest and probably the most influential. Any keen follower of alternative rock will tell you the latter half of that decade berthed a wide range of bands who took jangly tunes and made them into memorable odes to personal struggles or anything on the mind of the post-MTV generation.

This, for me, was an excellent time for rock in general and it’s good to see bands like Sweden’s Roof Down nodding to this era with their new album Devil’s Machine. Grooves that made me think of Stone Temple Pilots and bits of Soundgarden or Alice in Chains spring up here and there and the record has a fairly positive vibe on the surface.

However, I do not think the whole of the album is positive given how confessional and thoughtful the vibe changes as songs progress. Devil’s Machine has many memorable tunes but I think the ones that stand out most are “Slipped on a Stone” and “Never”, as their guitars and percussion conjured up good memories of REM and their ilk gracing college radios and pleasing kids and adults alike.

A good thing about this record is it carries more weight than an alternative rock album made for adult contemporary radio stations. Roof Down would make a good arena band but they maintain the humility of a band who would not look out of place in a small Seattle nightclub.

On the whole, give these Swedes a listen if you want to know the legacy of grunge, groove metal, and college rock is still burning brightly. I would recommend putting this record on during the spring and summer months to bring out its finest vibes.

Review by Demitri Levantis