sweden - The I-94 Bar
The DIY ethos is less a gimmick and more a way of life these days for the 99 percent of musicians not enslaved by a major label. It's either practical, necessary or all too easy to hole up in your bedroom and let those ideas pour out onto a hard drive without someone else calling the shots and charging your own money for it.
There's a defiite upside and also a downside. Rattanson is a case in point.
Rattanson is a one-man garage pop multi-instrumentalist from Sweden and "I'd Much Rather Be With The Noise" is his second album under that name. A former member of powerpo act Fanscene and garage rockers The Rawhides, he's gone solo to focus on his own songs.
Rattanson played all the instruments on his first record, 2017's "Full Scale Shakeability", and also on this one except for drums, for which he recruited Anders Björnlund from the Turpentines and the HiJackers. He'll have a bass player in tow to play the songs live.
This is the second retrospective package but the first well-rounded “best of” for the late (1994-2012) but great Swedish psych-rock-pop conglomerate. While the 2 CD “A Present From The Past” focused on outtakes and rare gems, “Golden Greats” is a single disc that’s largely what it says on the package.
Bluesy rock with its feet nailed to the floor in a smoky bar somewhere in the ‘70s, Vikunder kick out righteous rock with a lashing of soul on this single, a taster for their second album, “Oracles and Prophets”.
“Gone With The Dawn” motors on the same melodic fuel that’s powered The Sewergrooves for the best part of a decade. Is it any surprise they, too, hail from Sweden? In Vidunker’s case, one guitar and an organ fill out the sound with Martin Prim’s tuneful vocal pushed slightly back in the mix.
After half a dozen albums you’d expect these Swedish veterans to be good at this thing called Garage Pop and they don’t let anybody down on this meaty four-song EP. It’s catchy, rough-edged pop with twin-guitars.
Dee Rangers are firmly stuck in the 1980s but that’s a positive around these parts. Sweden, the US West Coast, the UK and Australia were all hot spots back for garage rock with distinct ‘60s overtones back then and this release reminds you as much.
Prime cut “I Want You” is straight out of Burbank with a surging organ line, gritty guitars and an impassioned vocal all hanging off a catchy hook. Pers Nystrom announces Utte Petterson’s lead-break with a howl before we’re dropped back into the chorus. Killer stuff.
Watch Out! Look Out! - Doojiman & The Exploders (Heavy Medication)
Dunno about you but Scandirock was thicker on the ground in these parts in the 1990s than dandruff at a record collector fair. Doojiman & The Exploders are from Sweden and use a simple recipe of punk guitars from the garage, a sackful of strong songs and buckets of phlegm to attitude to rock the house down.
You gotta to be good to steal the title of a Stooges outtake as the name of your band and Doojiman & The Exploders are. There are traces of The (early) Hives, a less metal-ly Gluecefier and the venerable ‘Copters, sans six-string histrionics, on this 45rpm, nine-track slice of vinyl.
We all know that band that was “born out of time”. The one that was on the cusp of success and that would/should have become household names given a modicum of luck and better timing. The Godfathers certainly qualify.
Arising in the UK 10 years after punk’s initial rush and playing a brutal but hook-laden fast R & B, they had a degree of chart success in the US with “Birth, School, Work, Death” and “More Songs About Love & Hate” before leaving their major label for a German indie, peetering out in the 2000’s before a late decade reformation.