Is Sweden the new Seattle (or Detroit)? The last time we heard from that country’s pop scene, the music was sugary-sweet (the Cardigans) or darkly arty (Komeda). The latest exports, who teamed up for Swedish-embassy-sponsored shows in New York, L.A., and Austin, seem to be moving backward in time–albeit in a good way. The Soundtrack of Our Lives (above) play garage psychedelia as if your life soundtrack were 1968, but bearlike singer Ebbot Lundberg and his white tunic spend half the show in the audience, whirling about inches away from concertgoers, and the band transcends its retro approach with blazing ravers like “Infra Riot” (from Behind the Music, one of three SOOL albums recently issued in the U.S.). Led by a frontman (Simon Ohlsson) who leaps up and down in possessed spasms, the moody, organ-fueled Citizen Bird are the Doors after taking a moonlight drive near the fjords. And then there’s Left Hand Solution, Goth metallists with a sulky-cheeked female singer, Mariana Holmberg, straight out of a Scando vampire flick–imagine Grace Slick fronting Black Sabbath. It’s enough to make us forget all about that ABBA musical.
Posted April 5 2002 — 12:00 AM EST
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