Directed by Åsa Söderqvist. From [DETENTION], out now on PNKSLM.
How great is this? I don’t know anything about this band other than what I have gathered from their label’s bio which says they’re “one of the Sweden’s biggest underground success stories of recent years.” Well alright.
This little fella
This little guy I met at school
I’m in a rock band
And he plays the…flute
You cannot argue with a song that starts like that. What’s going to happen to our hero and her little flute-playing boy? Who knows? But the video features main ShitKid Åsa Söderqvist and her new bandmate Lina Molarin Ericsson posing provocatively with classic American cliches like chickens and guns and American flag bikinis. Yeehaw.
[DETENTION] is a scintillating eight-track pop-punk blast of teen angst that pays tribute to the bands Söderqvist loved in her formative years, whilst also resurrecting a very specific wave of emo that’s died a death in the years since. “I started listening to the bands that I loved in school again, and I felt inspired by it,” she explains. “It’s a genre that’s quite embarrassing to go back to, and I knew that would make it really fun. I used to be emo in 2008, and now nobody plays that music any more! There’s nothing about being kids and nobody understanding you. It felt like time to bring it back.”
Is this what emo sounds like? Who knew! It’s awesome.
In the video for their first new song since 2013, our Swedish heroes explore the joys of breaking and entering into a villa on a Spanish island. If you like crafty, jangly pop music, you’re probably already familiar with these guys. Their fifth album is due later this year on Merge Records.
“Oh Oh” in some way feels like the trigger for this album. We felt, as soon as we had completed it, that the only way we could and should do this was to focus on the energy, the feeling in everything. We wanted to get back to our roots, to our togetherness and some kind of craftsmanship. We reminded ourselves that we are a band that love each other and playing together; the rest is pretty unimportant to us. “Oh Oh” is a lot about keeping that feeling, of never letting go of a dream.
I didn’t realize that the video we linked to last month was a live version of the new single. The Hives are such a tight live band that I assumed that was the studio version. Nope. This is. And it’s even better.
The Hives are back with a new single that won’t bring you down…Bruce! Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist is in fine form, decked out in a top hat and cape, and mugging with his best Lux Interior faces. America needs more cape rock.
2012 tour dates:
6/19 – Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club
6/20 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
6/22 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
6/23 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
6/25 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis
6/26 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
6/27 – Pontiac, MI – Clutch Cargo’s
6/29 – Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest
6/30 – Chicago, IL – The Vic Theatre
The title—in case you’re wondering—is either “To Hell With It” or “Fuck It” depending on how hard you want to annunciate your interpretation of what it means to put on the blinders and just move forward.
For a band like Dungen who’ve always seemed to operate in their own bubble of isolation anyway, the question then becomes “Just what new ground is Dungen speaking about with this declaration of ignoring the distracters and pressing ahead with their own vision?”
Let’s be honest, to completely abandon Dungen’s strength would be their undoing. And Dungen’s strength is in their ability to mimic progressive psychedelia with such jaw-dropping accuracy that you need to periodically check your smart phone to see if some form of time travel has taken place in the midst of their tape hiss and guitar fuzz.
When I told my wife I was going to go see Dungen perform on Monday night, she was a little concerned at having to manage the kids by herself. She wasn’t feeling well, and the idea of having to contend with two children while I indulged in the sonic glory of a Swedish psychedelic rock band didn’t sit well with her. I assured her that I would be around for most of the evening and could even pick up one of the kids from vacation bible school later that night.
Noting the time, she asked the obvious, “So when does the show start?”
“The doors open at 9:00pm” I replied.
My wife let out a laugh when she caught me yawning about ten minutes later, stating the obvious, “You’re too old to go out tonight!”
She was right in some sense, but I bargained that the evening would feature two bands, Dungen and openers Woods. Calculating a half-hour set by Woods meant that Dungen would potentially hit the stage by 10:30pm and I could realistically be on the road home by 12:30am. I could function on five hours of sleep and make up the difference the following night.
It wasn’t that long ago when Karin Dreijer Andersson, one-half of the duo The Knife, was blessed with the kind of praise that most independent artists would kill for. Pitchfork named their album Silent Shout one of the best records of 2006 and the Swedish recording industry agreed by providing the Dreijer siblings with a total of six awards at the Swedish equivalent of the Grammys.
At that moment, the idea of playing ball should have been the first priority of the band. Instead, the two sent friends dressed up in gorilla costumes to collect their prize (a protest of Sweden’s Caucasian-heavy music scene) and then promptly went on hiatus.
During this time, Karin gave birth to her second child and while most parents of newborns become mentally numb during the months of ensuing sleep deprivation, Andersson used her somnambulist hours to program beats and put the beginning touches of a solo project on to her hard drive.
Love Is All knows a lot about the vicissitudes of love. “Make out! Fall out! Make up! Fall out!” is a line from one of their best songs from 2005’s Nine Times The Same Song, one that details the rollercoaster effect that love has on each of us. No matter how far we crash, love has such a short memory that we tend to forget those low points as we pine for the uplifting feeling that it provides us.
“We came all the way from Gothenburg, Sweden to be here tonight,” announced vocalist Josephine Olausson about three songs into the set before a small crowd of a few dozen people. You could tell by the small attendance that her claim was fabricated, and one only needed to look the map to know that this Swedish quintet did not fly half-way across the globe to be in Rock Island, Illinois on a Saturday night.
It wasn’t that long ago when The Hives were on that short list of bands that seemed to be sent from above to save us from rock’s growing humdrums. Hard to believe, but around the start of this century, the simple idea of possessing a little bit of attitude, a smidgen of imagery and a tad of three-chord proficiency got you namechecked as the next big thing.
The problem is, when you have that much hype backing something that has its roots in a history of one trick pony, well sir, you have expectations that are excessively high. If it were any different, every band on Nuggets would have a room full of gold records and Sky Saxon would have enough cash on hand to retire wearing gold-plated diapers.