Recently working at SUNY Albany's WCDB 90.9fm, has taught me two things; Douglas Schieder can never be replaced, ever; AND Sweden is slowly taking over the world with their cute and catchy indie-rock. Of course, Sweden is no stranger to the world of independently awesome music, bringing us some monster acts such as Refused and The (International) Noise Conspiracy, but the multitude of artists emerging from that far region of the earth is growing. Quickly. And frankly, I'm terrified. NOT!
Swedish artists have been getting plenty of attention as of late. Here's a few who've been mustering up some sick hype: Loney Dear, The Knife, Jens Lekman, I'm From Barcelona, The Concretes, and Frida Hyvonen are all quite wonderful acts, but one band I find much overlooked is The Faintest Ideas. This four piece from Gothenburg Sweden take the lower road approach toward the heart of today's indie rock scene. Rather than finding fun dance beatz circa 1987, 43 members all holding different instrument, a cute female vocalist or a bubbly keyboard to make a wonderfully childish and endearing album, TFI make for nitty gritty punk rock; something lacking in the "scene", if I do say so myself.
TFI were formally known as Javelins, but according to their website, Javelins was a hot moniker over in Sweden. They formed in 2003 on a whim taking advantage of available studio time their former bands neglected. Since then they've put out 4 sold out EPs and since then have compiled them and unreleased tracks on an album released January 2006 titled "Terrific times and unrehearsed crimes". TFI are Martin Cannert, Christoffer Lärkner, Daniel Svanhög and Joel Görsch. The bands first full length release, "What Goes Up Must Calm Down", released on Magic Marker and Club Pop Records clocks in at a wopping 28 minutes and 21 seconds [divided between 15 tracks]. The longest track, "Try Too Hard" measures 2 minutes 47seconds which is a minute longer than most on the album. Needless to say, its starts out fast and ends before you know it [not to be confused with myself in the bedroom, ohhhh]. It's raw. It's fun! It's Lo-Fi. It's fast! It's sincere. It's awesome!
The guitars are a goddamn mess. The vocals, buried beneath the sloppy riffs and drums, are difficult to understand but the melodies sink to into your ears. I get an 80's feel from TFI. Not the exhausted new wavey 80's feel, the early punk, Clash-esque 80's feel, to be exact. The lyrics don't attempt to be particularly poetic, they're mostly honest songs of love, heartache and being young and stupid, including the brief opening track "You're Beautiful".
It's hard to find extreme differentiation between the fifteen tracks, although there are definitely those that stick out among the rest. The majority contain a similar fast paced drum beat and overdriven guitar melodies accompanied by the dual vocal power of the two guitarists Christoffer and Daniel . Joel on bass offers back-up vocals as the drummer Martin whacks away on drums. Christoffer and Daniel have separate vocal ranges allowing lower melodies to compliment high-pitched whines and at times you can catch a scream or squeal. It's great. The Faintest Ideas are trying to bring heartbreak back in the simplest ways possible and I love it. Their music breeds youthful veracity and it will get you shaking your ass and a put a smile on your face. I recommend beer with this album. And friends. It's a good time and that's that.
Recommended Tracks: You're Beautiful, All Stars, Missed Misses, Gun Totin Hooligans, Nosebleeders On The Track, Dexter's Got A Sinister Heart, Everything Is Black
A video for "Beautiful" and some Bio can be viewed here.
mp3:Everything is Black