Once upon a time, before the band somehow got caught up in the tide of saccharine late-1980s hair-metal, Germany’s Scorpions was a truly strange stoner-rock band. Check out the group’s debut effort, 1972’s “Lonesome Crow,” for proof – a very young Michael Schenker plays his heart out throughout these howling post-blues/psychedelic/downer-rock pieces, conjuring the sort of grim industrial landscapes that birthed the deafening post-blues that eventually came to be known as heavy metal.
Sweden’s Graveyard has studied “Lonesome Crow,” I’m guessing. The Swedish band’s latest, “Innocence & Decadence,” its fourth effort, is suffused with the sort of sludge-rock that lurked behind every shuttered warehouse and abandoned factory as the 1970s did its best to stomp out the heady utopianism of the 1960s and replace it with something smacking of their own personal realities. Think Black Sabbath in standard tuning, or yes, “Lonesome Crow,” minus the German accent – groove-conscious hard rock that isn’t afraid to be trippy.
Graveyard has become a force to be reckoned with in the concert setting, having completed tours with the likes of Soundgarden, Clutch and Witchcraft. Now, the North American leg of the “Innocence & Decadence” tour will bring the band to the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) for an 8 p.m. show next Thursday. Tickets for the all-ages show are $16 advance (Ticketfly.com, box office) or $19 on the day of the show.