Typically, you don’t just land studio time in world-famous recording studios with all-star producers just based off of luck. There needs to be something backing you, which, hopefully, includes a heap of talent and drive. That being said, when they checked into the Svenska Grammafon Studio with producer Alex Newport (City & Colour, Frank Turner, At the Drive-In, Bloc Party), there was a high bar set for Sweden’s The Sounds.
Fortunately, the smooth, hyper, textured indie-rock that the band produces realizes that mark and meets it.
There’s a frenzied mix of genres on the tracks that make up Weekend, the group’s fifth full-length album. While a song may start off with plucky banjos and guitars, it later adds in pulsing dance-rock synthesizers (“Great Day”), or the ominous introduction of title-track “Weekend,” which then fades to chanting group vocals and a simple acoustic strum.
The energy that is present during this record is pretty striking. It’s obvious to say that bands put an effort into making an album, but on Weekend, it comes to the front and grabs the spotlight. The chugging, surf-rock guitar work on “Emperor” and the entertainingly unsettling string-filled introduction of “Panic” support this – each track takes the band’s vigor and makes it an instrument itself.
Bookended by the racealong “Shake Shake Shake” and closer “Young and Wild” gives the record a feeling of cyclicality. Each song holds an element of dark glam, and while they contrast each other in tempo – the first being quick and rattling, the second being more calm and swayed, the two still hold things together and compliment each other nicely, separated by the nine songs between them.
The Sounds do a lot on the album, constantly mixing things up and changing directions. Luckily, none of it seems too wild or overdone. Weekend is a clever grab-bag of style and substance which managed to succeed at any endeavor attempted, making the album something to eagerly look forward to.
Release Date: October 29th, 2013
1. Shake Shake Shake
2. Take It the Wrong Way
3. Hurt the Ones I Love
5. Great Day
7. Too Young to Die
11. Young and Wild
The Sounds is:
Maja Ivarsson – Vocals
Felix Rodriguez – Guitar, vocals
Johan Bengtsson – Bass
Jesper Anderberg – Keyboards, guitar, vocals
Fredrik Blond – Drums