Grouper – Dragging a dead deer up a hill (2008) fredag, Jan 16 2009 

grouper-draggingadeaddeerupahill

Där Groupers tidigare skivor har bestått av drömsk shoegaze med droneinslag är nya Dragging a dead deer up a hill till ytan betydligt mera naken och konventionell. Borta är syntmattor och basborduner och kvar är inte så mycket mer än Liz Harris staplade sångstämmor och gitarr. Bakom den rogivande fasaden finns dock en krypande känsla av oro, en dissonans i struktur snarare än klang, med den ensamma gitarrens lite nervösa anslag som ständig påminnelse. Det är helt vanliga poplåtar, men poplåtar som blivit dekonstruerade kring Liz utdragna sångteman på ett sätt som bitterljuvt återuppväcker och bevarar idealen från Groupers dronerötter.

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Something rotten in the state of Sweden tisdag, Sep 23 2008 

It seems to me that Swedish black metal has slowly been carving a new post-Marduk/Dissection niche for itself in recent years. Bands like Woods of Infinity, Shining and Lifelover are all playing demented black metal/pop with lots of samples and an emphasis on creating a sick atmosphere. The lyrical content also channels a different type of adolescency than the ”SATAN OPEN THE GATES!” themes of their 20th century predecessors, dealing more with urban misery and perversion but retaining the dislike of good taste and judgement. While Shining rather undeservedly seems to get the most attention and Umeå’s Woods of Infinity — the most talented of the trio — just make me feel physically ill (more on that some other time), I enjoy the sort of evil pop hits that Lifelover has produced lately. As is the nature of pop music, their albums tend to be a mix of filler material and great songs that stick to your mind immediately (only to inevitably fade though, leaving you with a feeling of what-was-the-fuss-about-in-the-first-place). Their new album Konkurs is due within just a few days, which they will promote by playing live in Stockholm this Sunday. Also, some of their better songs, including M/S Salmonella and Mental Central Dialog are available for free from their webpage.

Have A Nice Life – Deathconsciousness (2008) tisdag, Jul 22 2008 

From the deep trenches of the American underground comes an album that will shurely tingle the spine of all who like their music to go with a ‘post-‘ prefix. Surging in popularity, the debut album of Have A Nice Life is very worthy of its praise. Epics like I Don’t Love, The big gloom and There is no food fit perfectly side-by-side with a palpable post-punk attitude that shines through on tracks like Waiting for black metal records to come in the mail and indie-pop gem Holy fucking shit 40 000. Though the lyrics deal mainly with religious themes and (you guessed it) death, there is a strong vibe of arty teenage escapism and new wave aesthetics, with wonderful guitar/synthesizer carpets and talented songwriting. Despite it’s lofi production, Deathconsciousness manages to sound very avant garde and relevant at the same time, and judging from its reception so far it might very well be regarded as somewhat of a milestone in a few years.

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