Sounds - Living In America
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
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.
- Living In America
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