Festivale de Football Day 26: Sweden

I don't know about you, but when I think of Sweden and music, the first thought that comes to my mind is not the record-breaking Europop of Abba; it's not the progressive extreme metal of In Flames or Opeth; it's not even the glitchy electronica of Tape or Det Gamla Landet.

No, when I think of Sweden, only one thing comes to mind. It's rock'n'roll baby. For some reason, this nation seems to excel at good-humoured greasy rock'n'roll like none other. Whether it's the trucker-capped, long haired scuzz of the Hellacopters; the sharp-suited pizazz of the Hives; or the nose-studded, leopard print glam of the Backyard Babies, it's all good, and these are the bands the that epitomise Swedish rock'n'roll to me.

The Hellacopters were formed by Nicke Andersson, former drummer of the worrying metal combo Entombed. From the looks of things, he's moved towards something of a pork-pie hat look (great...), but I remember him as the Wayne Campbell-looking grease monkey that recorded Grande Rock and High Visibility, a distillation of all that was rocking. It seems like if Sweden can do anything, they may not intellectualise, and they may not innovate, but they can certainly capture an essence, and this is it.
Head on over to their website for tons of free samples, e.g...

The Hellacopters - Move Right Out Of Here
The Hellacopters - No Song Unheard

The Hives. What can be said about the Hives that hasn't already been said before? I saw them once, in their earlier stages, opening at Portsmouth's Wedgewood Rooms - third on a bill in a toilet venue surrounded by punks who couldn't care less, they rocked it. They absolutely nailed it, and had us eating out of Howlin' Pelle's hands. If only I'd had the presence of mind when he leaned over to ask me where we were, I could probably have got him to say "Hello Cleveland!" Not only a fantastic stage presence in their front man, not only a tight-as band, but more than that - great songs. I stand by pretty much every tune on Veni Vidi Vicious, it's really a great album.

The Hives - Find Another Girl
The Hives - Supply & Demand

The Backyard Babies, to me, were almost a new Wildhearts, coming as they did after the sad demise and subsequent half-hearted reunion of that band. They had not only some great chops and some wicked hair, but in guitarist Dregen, a personality so rock'n'roll the band could hardly contain him. Looking back though, it seems a little affected - one nose-ring too many, one woah-oh chorus too much. They certainly weren't the new Wildhearts I was looking for - charming in their own way circa Total 13, they powered their way through their songs with aplomb, they just left a little to be desired.

You can find some songs on their MySpace, or stream their new album from their website, for example People Like People Like People Like Us.

Buy Swedish music here
Buy Hellacopters/Hives/Backyard Babies

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CIA Factbook: Sweden

PS: If you want some Swedish music that's actually good, I recommend the Nosordo label and it's Famous For 15Mb podcast.


llama said...

You're on the Hype Machine \o/

Rachel said...

Always a pleasure coming here. Shaken never stirred and I love it. The links to the Hellacopters don't seem to be establishing a connection...Although, I think their server is being fussy, I will have to check back with them later.

I hope the loss wasn't too damaging in the office pool. Damn shame, indeed.

Thanks for the rock'n'roll tip. :)

kitten said...

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