Thursday, July 05, 2007

A cold wind blowing down

It's not that long since my last Swedish post but what can I say, it's Pavlovian: I'm drawn to Swedish music. Doesn't matter if it's mainstream or obscure—I love it all. And so in addition to gigabytes of new discoid acts, I end up with, say, a box set of Agnetha Fältskog solo albums or archival recordings of never-were proto-doom bands . The latest arrivals on my player are the two-CD set Svensk Postpunk (Klassiker) and the reissue of the one and only full-length by 1970s hard-rocking combo Solid Ground (Mellotronen). Sigh…

I have to admit I was initially disappointed by Svensk Postpunk because save for a few exceptions the overall vibe is closer to Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division and early Cold Wave than Kleenex or Gang of Four. But after getting back in touch with my inner goth, I was able to enjoy the music; even better, the only band I already knew in the batch was Leather Nun, and so the compilation is an ear-opening introduction to a specific little music niche.

Stockholm combo Kitchen and the Plastic Spoons certainly counts as a real discovery, for instance, and so I ordered the recent CD collection of its entire output from Aquarius. Göteborg's Camouflage really reminds me of Xymox, a band I hadn't really thought about in a while; relistening to its 4AD oeuvre, however, made me realize it has aged rather gracefully—like quite a bit of gothy stuff, come to think of it. Are we due for a revival? Fortunately, the Swedish Punk site helped with a crash course on some of the bands—turns out Tant Strul was one of the very few girl groups on the scene for instance.

MP3 Camouflage "Syster Sol" (1985)
MP3 Ståålfågel "En dag i varuhuset" (1980)
MP3 Kitchen and the Plastic Spoons "Liberty" (1981)
MP3 Tant Strul "Amason" (1983)

Solid Ground was a short-lived combo from Stockholm that released only one album, Made in Rock. Pretty typical mid-70s riffage here, though this being a Swedish band, they can't help being super-melodic as well. The CD's liner notes explain that in the studio the band used an Orchestron, a synth along the lines of the Mellotron—automatic extra bonus points for the use of an obscure instrument!

MP3 Solid Ground "Oh Lord" (from Made in Rock, 1976)
MP3 Solid Ground "Tombstone Kiss" (from Made in Rock, 1976)

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