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neumu
Monday, November 20, 2017 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
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+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
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+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
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Demons
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Stockholm Slump
Gearhead
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What are they smokin' over there in Sweden? Rocks? Must be, from the sound of the bands they've been exporting. Could be intrinsic to Swedish underground culture, this need to rock as hard as possible. Whatever it is, Sweden surely seems the perfect breeding ground for mean, roughed-up rock 'n' roll, the recent album from Demons being the latest example.

Listen to Stockholm Slump, and you'll find hardly a slump, but a furious onslaught of in-your-face growling garage-ish hard, hard, hard punk rock. (I realize this sounds all too familiar and all too unoriginal but, really, there are only so many ways to communicate, in print, what one of these kinda records sounds like.) If you're into not taking your music too seriously, rocking out, banging your head, losing yourself, waving the goat (i.e. saluting the rock) and playing air guitar, then this is most definitely your bag. And this is certainly not to say such badass, high-energy sounds are easy to come by. No! This style of music requires a certain amount of intensity and sincerity — two qualities The Demons have plenty of.

The Demons were the first band to sign to San Francisco-based Gearhead Records; over the years the label has released records by The Hives, The Hellacopters and many, many more fine Scandinavian garage-punk-rock combos. On Stockholm Slump the biker/blue-collar-looking foursome honor the rawer forms of rock, ranging from '60s garage to '70s metal, from Gun 'N Rose-era dirt-rock to Nirvana-era punk/grunge — an amalgam that helps you appreciate our history and what has blossomed from it.

One of the darker tracks here, "Devil in Me" — with spiraling, gritty riffs, wiry, erratic sax and repeated rhythms that seem to be falling downward — could work as the band's proclamation of what they're all about. "Get fucked up/ Shit out of luck/ Bring me down now/ Getting drunk/ Getting stuck/ Shaking my chains/ Ready to go now/ ...It's the devil in me," lead singer/guitarist Mathias Carlsson sneers, sounding seedy and raw. The reverberating, slowed-down "Sparkle" proclaims the band's lighter, softer-on-the-heart side with shimmering tambourine shakes and emotive singing: "I miss that sparkle in your eye," croons Carlsson, sounding sincere. One of the rawer, dirtier songs on the album is "We Ain't Going Nowhere." You'll get off on its dreary, sluggish — albeit hard-rocking — melodies, bitter sentiment, and, of course, Carlsson snarling as if he just downed a pint of Jack and wants another one.

So is it the booze? The drugs? Something in the air? The water? Never mind. Why waste your time wonderin' when you could be rockin' to Stockholm Slump?


by Jenny Tatone




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