Our ears and eyes have this month been firmly trained on Sweden, the northerly land of Volvos, superb but bleak crime TV drama [step forward ‘The Bridge’ and of course Wallander], and reindeer [errrr….or is that Finland….?]. Anyway, antlered beast confusion notwithstanding, there seems to be wave after wave of notable music issuing forth from the country at the moment. And as usual, we’re right on the goddamned money here at Rip It Up!! So here is some news which I was passed by Johan at Monument Records today. He tells me that his label is releasing two new slabs of hardcore energy by Swedish bands Growing Pains and Chain Reaction.
If you are a regular reader then you’ll recall my post recently about some of the label’s recent releases. Of course, I wasn’t really having breakfast in Sweden, I wrote the piece whilst having my breakfast here in rainy England, so…..ah hell! Let’s just get down to business shall we?
Right, listen up punkhounds. ‘This is not a threat, it’s a promise…’ is Growing Pains‘ new release. This is a real cracker – it reminds me of Dag Nasty in their ‘Wig Out at Denko’s’ period, with the mid paced, melodic, catchy as hell song structure that really could have been put together by Brian Baker himself! A ten-tracker, this release brings home the bacon alright. All the ingredients are here for me – chiming guitars, crowd chanted choruses, slapping drums, slower DC-ish passages. This just destroys. The band explain the rationale behind their formation thus:
“The idea for the band came up when Henrik and me still were doing Another Year. That band sort of fell apart slowly without really breaking up, we just started doing Growing Pains instead while the other guys in Another Year did their stuff in other bands. The idea was to play basic old-school skatepunk/hc, like the one we grew up with and have always loved.
Inspired by bands like Pennywise, NOFX, Bad Religion and even Offspring we started writing music. We tried out some dudes and found Robin and Fredrik for drum and bass duties. Then we started playing shows in Sweden and also went on a short tour in Spain. We did an EP called Rite Of Passage, and we have just finished mixing our first full length album.”
Check this out and on release you can buy it from the very extensive Monument Webshop.
The second forthcoming release is by Chain Reaction, a band whose style is very different, but also very specific. This is old school Straightedge hardcore and it pulls no punches. With a fast, frantic style it pulls together vocals that bear an uncanny resemblance to the barking delivery of good old Yoga teacher and Feng Shui expert Ray Cappo, with a bit of Roger Miret of Agnostic Front thrown in for good measure!
Short, sweet and urgent, Chain Reaction’s 6 track debut ep recalls the late 80s and early 90s edge-core scene that gave us bands like Bold, Chain of Strength, Uniform Choice and Unity – and frankly there is always room in Rip It Up for this kind of stuff, even of we are known to sink a beer or three every now and then!