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By antiGUY

The CD

Prime STH – Underneath The Surface
Label: Giant Records /Reprise 
Rating: 

Tracks:
Underneath The Surface
I Don’t Envy You
I’m Stupid (Don’t Worry ‘Bout me)
Believe
In My Head
From the Inside
Even the Score (No One Else)
My Evil Friend
She
Let Me Bleed
24 Song

Wondering where the new hotbed of rock is? You might be surprised when I say that it’s Sweden! That’s right-Sweden-the land of ABBA and Ace of Base. 2001 has given us a few exceptional rockin’ exports from that mysterious land of blond bombshells and great beer. On the heavier side of the spectrum we got two exceptional releases from Opeth and Lost Horizon, now on the alternative rock side we have a great new disc from Prime STH. 

Prime STH are the latest Swedish rock export to hit the U.S. shores. They come courtesy of Giant Records/Reprise and after listening to their U.S. debut it becomes quickly apparent how they attracted the attention of U.S. record labels. They have that melodic modern rock sound that put Bush on the map but they also delve into other areas like Industrial and straight ahead rock. 

The disc captured my attention and respect from the first moment. The guitar work on the opening track “Underneath The Surface” has a catchy groove that should endear the band to modern rock radio. What’s more impressive are the vocals; Prime STH’s lead singer Noa has a great modern rock sound that delivers power without having to resort to screaming. You only have to listen to the first three tracks to get hooked. The chorus to “I Don’t Envy You” is down right infectious. With the next track, “I’m Stupid” they take things down a notch and show that they are just as comfortable performing a ballad as the full out rockers. What can I say? The songs are hits without even trying to be. Prime STH may finally make amends to the world for those other Swedish exports ABBA and Ace of Base. 

The Bio

"Our goal was to make it to the 'other side,' meaning America," says Prime sth singer guitarist Noa.  "Sweden is into rap and dance music; it's never been a country for rock 'n' roll.  We always felt we belonged in the states, and our music sounds more American than Swedish." 

Proof positive?  Prime sth's Reprise Records debut album UNDERNEATH THE SURFACE, a captivating 11-song amalgamation of uplifting, yet melancholy songs that channel the foursome's aggressive energy into timeless tunes, including the premiere single "I'm Stupid (Don't Worry 'Bout Me)."  It's a potent effort from a group whose rabid following in Sweden earned them slots opening for such bands as Faith No More and Rage Against the Machine.

 Prime sth pen heavy, catchy songs - a listen to the CD reveals a foursome whose melodic sensibilities are as intense and powerful as their fearless lyrical introspection.  "We're song-oriented," notes bassist Jspr . "A great song is a great song, no matter what style, from the Beatles to dance music to metal." 

Indeed, UNDERNEATH THE SURFACE, recorded in the band's native Stockholm with respected European producer Sanken Sandqvist, reflects diverse influences and experiences forged during a decade of togetherness.  Now only in their early 20's, Prime sth formed when its members were 12 and 13 years old.  Bound together by their outsider status - bohemian parents, a love for American and British pop and metal and a lack of interest in pursuing the usual sports/studies/army career - Noa, drummer Kaz, Jspr and guitarist Martin found themselves in a Stockholm basement, expressing themselves musically, even though the teens barely new how to play their instruments.  "We have pictures from then, and we look like midgets with our instruments.  Still everybody thought it was cute.  We sucked, but they liked us anyway," the band recalls. Eventually, getting both better and taller, Prime sth realized that they needed a ticket out of Sweden to fully realize their dream.

 Recordings made in 1999 with Sandqvist led to interest from many American labels, and the band found a home with early believer Giant/Reprise Records.  Indeed, Prime sth (the newly-added sth pays tribute to the city of Stockholm) have moved to their new hometown of Los Angeles to begin a new chapter in their lives ("We want to move here, go to the beach, surf. And then we'll do all happy songs!" jokes Noa.)  "And we want to TOUR!" he adds.  "We've always been about playing live.  And the United States is a bit bigger than Stockholm, so we figure it will take us a few years to get everywhere."

Want more?

Visit the official web site for news, media clips and tour dates! 


Listen to sound clips and Purchase the CD online


Album Art and Bio courtesy of PrimeSTH and Giant Records. All Rights Reserved by Copyright holder.
 

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