Electric Hydra Credit: Courtesy the Artist

When it comes to music, Sweden is perhaps most famous for sweetly catchy pop and brutal death metal. Five-piece Electric Hydra finds the spiritual midpoint between those genres on its self-titled debut album by leaning into another Swedish tradition—retro hard-rock revivalism. The record’s cover art brackets the band’s name with two gaping snake maws that look like tattoo flash, and the music is very much what you’d expect from that: 34 minutes of adrenaline-pumping, stadium-size pop-metal goodness. The band isn’t especially interested in innovation—this is music for true believers, and they’ll find ample reason for fervent head-banging in the spirit of hairy heroes of rawk’s past. On “1000 Lies,” guitarist Jonathan Möller and bassist Ellinor Andersson lock into a doomy, gonad-rumbling riff reminiscent of Master of Reality-era Sabbath while lead vocalist Sanne Karlsson does an ear-serrating and very credible Ozzy impression. Möller sings on “Iron Lung,” which embraces grunge with enough fuzz to suit Mudhoney or Soundgarden. “It Comes Alive” cranks up to Motörhead speeds, with sweetly cheesy hair-metal harmonies buried in the mix and a gratuitous echo effect on Karlsson’s voice. Electric Hydra never takes its biker boot off the accelerator as it blasts out heavy hooks and hooky heaviness that could please fans of Abba and Entombed alike.   v