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The Sounds - Living In America
By Dan Grote

They’re Swedish, they have a “the” in their name, but they ain’t no garage band.

The Sounds are pure cheese with a hint of punk. With 12 tracks of pure New Wave revivalism, there’s enough synth for five Duran Duran albums.

Oh, and let’s not forget the anti-Americanism.-- “We’re not living in America, and we’re not sorry for you,” singer Maja Ivarrson warbles on the title track. The only singer, Ivarrson takes charge like the band is hers, even though she joined after the drummer and before the synth guy. Imagine Debbie Harry as a faux-feisty teenager, just another pretty face posturing about starting riots when not too far beneath the surface she’s just giggling at the cute boys.

Aside from the not-so-insistent anger of “America,” the album is tame as can be. The band creates the poor man’s “I’m Just a Girl” on “Like a Lady.” “Hit Me!,” the only track that does not utilize synthesizers, features Ivarrson aching for a fight, while “Hope You’re Happy Now” hits a curious note with a bridge full of throaty, silly sounding ha-has.

VERDICT: The synths make them sound like a Mega Man tribute band. Churning out bands like the Sounds and the Hives as it has in the past few years, Sweden has become the new Japan, taking our American culture and warping it into its purest kitsch form without the slightest hint of irony. Look no further than this album for proof.

CD Info 

The Sounds - Living In America
Label: New Line Records
Seven Days A Week
Dance With Me
Living In America
Hit Me!
Mine For Life
Rock 'n Roll
Like A Lady
Hope You're Happy Now
(untitled) - (hidden track)
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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