You’ve all heard the talk of a big Scandinavian revival *in recent months. Of course, some will already know that Scandinavia, in particular Sweden, is one of the more musically fruitious areas of Europe anyway, having spawned the likes of *No Fun At All, Håken Hellström, Breach, Abba, Refused *and the awesome *Millencolin. But, that said, something remarkable has been brewing; something of a musical renaissance of stripped-down punked-up grooves acknowledging the undeniable influences of *Iggy Pop, The Stooges *and *Primal Scream *and adapting them to that fervent Swedish energy to give birth to a, frankly, electrifying cocktail of music that seems to have swept our Indie-rock obsessed asses off our feet.
Bands like The (International) Noise Conspiracy, the old skool flava of *Randy *and, of course, *The Hives *have all been subject to the enemy’s powerfully influential hype machine and together with recent cover stars and up-comers *The Vines *and *Ikara Kolt *it seems that naked retro rock is where it’s at. Hmm.
So… *Division of Laura Lee *then are – yep, you guessed it – another Swedish band that have taken on board much of these elements but chosen to bring to the fray swirling new sounds to break up the manic energy that makes up most of this album.
After four tracks of crazy, hook-laden, rock-out anthems a touch of soothing respite is on offer in the shape of ‘I Guess I’m Healed’; a beautifully mystical track, it’s quiet hammond’s sombre, melancholic tones providing a backdrop to a poignant Gomez-esque song that, along with the delicate minor chromaticism-strewn *_‘I Walk On Broken Glass’ *_sets D.O.L.L. apart from the pack and shows that they are most definitely not just ‘another’ Swedish rock and roll band. Oh no.
As a whole, Black City **is a refreshing feast of manic melodies and frantic, vaguely distorted guitars and what better track to open this up than the fantastic *_‘Need To Get Some’_; an awesome precursor that utilises a stripped down formula to produce a compelling sound that pricks up your ears ready for the louder, punked-up assaults that follow. _‘Number One’ *_rips through the heart of **The Hives, it’s commanding vocal attack, “I’m on a million dollar trip and it’s making me sick/ the need for help, the need for drugs, the need for love” _being sung with real passion. **‘Pretty Electric’ **_is a up-beat fuzzed-up blast that, although bearing many similarities to The Hives, possesses a tuneful chorus that shines through the whole album.
Division of Laura Lee *are truly phenomenal and have seemingly appeared out of nowhere with an album displaying some incredible song-writing. I’m getting breathless just thinking about how amazing D.O.L.L will be live, so it’s nice to know that they will be visiting these shores later in the year. Keep your eyes peeled and in the mean time *GET THIS! You need it and I know you want it.
10Mat Hocking's Score