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RATING: 8.9/10 – TOP TRASH

Swedish punk sung in French reviewed by an American writer. Globalization’s nuts. I know maybe 10 words in French, so I’ve no clue what they’re singing about, but it’s fast, it’s catchy, and it’ll get you moving. The band makes use of keytar, giving them a really strong LOST SOUNDS vibe, but it’s not used as a gimmick or a LOOK AT US – it’s just another instrument, put to excellent use on tracks like “Remords,” shooting the track through with some awesome squiggly Atari vibes. The song instantly burrows into your skull, even if you haven’t got the faintest clue what it might be about. This 84 second rager is over before you blink, but this veers into the utterly inexplainable “Le Voleur de Chaleur.” This track opens with a minute-long ye-ye detour – FRANCOISE HARDY vibes abounding, before dropping into a wasteland of fuzz as the party is suddenly crashed by ripping hardcore. Next comes “Le Vague Noire,” a mid-tempo song adorned by spoken vocals. The Game Boy sonic aesthetic works here really well. The keytar is immediately recognizable and adds to the music, but also shares space with the guitar on tracks like “Questions.”

The point is: Keytars aren’t a novelty here. It’s used to the same efficacy as any other instrument, and all 6 songs on this are winners. This isn’t being put out by any label yet, but it ought to be.

LISTEN: Cikatri$ Bandcamp

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RATING: 8/10

I wanna give this record an even-handed treatment, because it occupies a special place in my collection. See, Impo & the Tents (get it?) hail from Sweden, and I picked it up in a great little shop in Stockholm last month. At the time, it wasn’t available stateside, but I happened to be in Sweden, and so it marks the absolute farthest distance I’ve ever traveled to get a record (even Google can’t figure out how I did it).

Anyway, I’m glad I went to fair Swedenland to pick it up, because this is a nice little 7″. It’s snotty, catchy garage/punk/whatever – in the vein of JAY REATARD, if he didn’t sound like he was about to collapse under 20 tons of paranoia, or maybe like a slowed-down DICKIES. That’s probably actually better – these songs are pretty light-hearted affairs, and the penchant for vocal harmonies means this could easily hang with those guys. The first track is a little power-poppy thing, followed by the Ramones-y “Four Eyes.”  It’s poppy and punky, but it’s not pop-punk – it’s tight, punchy, and will burrow into your head immediately.

3rd track “Eating From Your Hand” keeps pace, a bouncy track that might be my favorite here – it’s got great energy and a really memorable hook – ditto for closer “Tonight” – I got a feeling Impo & Co. do a fun live show. I really like that every track on this release seems more sugar-rushy than the last, even if they’re all pretty similar. It makes for a nice experience as each track builds upon the last, instead of opening with the bangers and slowly running out of steam the way some releases tend to. The release folds up as abruptly as it opens – after 4 tracks which probably barely top 5 minutes total, it’s over. In a way, this release has it all – hooks, fun, tight playing, and it doesn’t overstay its welcome – look for more from this band.

LISTEN: Bandcamp

BUY: Slovenly

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