2013 was an amazing year for music, with strong debuts, and massive returns. 2014 is already shaping up to make 2013 look weak in comparison, as it’s unleashed some incredible music already, and it’s promising us some things to really look forward to as well. But one extremely exciting event for me in 2013 hasn’t been picked up on yet and certainly not documented on here, only for the fact, I’ve been too busy and that. This event from 2013 is exciting on a purely personal and self-indulgent level (welcome to Mojo20.com), and said event would be the release of Swedish pop-punk sensations, The Sounds, fifth studio album. As a fan of the band for almost a solid ten years, and a follower of their career and discography for the same amount of time, hearing that ‘Weekend’ was due for release imminently gave me something to really look forward to. But as mentioned, time restraints and mass drinking sessions over Christmas held back my opportunity to enjoy their new material… Until now.
So of course, I’ve put these guys on a pedestal, and why not? Over the last ten years I’ve introduced many, many people to these guys and never once have I had bad feedback, in fact I’ve encountered more people becoming big fans of them instead. They also still hold the record for being the best gig I’ve ever been to, when I saw them in London a couple of years ago. It was the most energetic and crowd pleasing gig I’ve ever been at, and the set list was incredible, leaving everyone to go home very happy. Anyway, the new album. ‘Weekend’, as mentioned is their fifth studio album, and to be honest, there is no massive differences in sound, and I don’t see this album as being any evolution of the band at all. In fact they appear to have picked up exactly where they left off in 2011 with ‘Something To Die For’ and carried on nicely into another album. Why not right? If it ain’t broke and all that lot! Single releases so far consist of ‘Shake Shake Shake’, a party anthem with simple and catchy lyrics, that doesn’t make you work too hard for a good time, but instead just gives it straight to you and lets you run away with it, which is classic of the Sounds really. I even played this one as part of a DJ set the other night and noticed an accepting and pleased reception from those in attendance, which is incredible really considering I can guarantee they’d never heard the song before, and probably never heard of the band before in their lives. Maybe I’m wrong (ha, that’ll be the day). The second offering so far from the album is the much more sentimentally charged, and honest ‘Hurt The Ones I Love’. It’s almost polar opposite to ‘Shake Shake Shake’, but that’s perfect, why not show the world how broad you can be in an effort to showcase the fact you’ve become a massive name in an underground European culture. It works for me, and I’m sure it works for them too.
I did enjoy the album, but was perhaps looking for those big, BIG tunes that will rock a room to pieces when played live, or even on a club night. Songs like ‘Living in America’, ‘Painted By Numbers’, ‘4 Songs And A Fight’ and ‘Something To Die For’ all have this quality, from previous albums. I guess ‘Shake shake shake’ is the fifth incarnation of this, and to be honest, it suits fine. Maybe I’d have just liked to find another in the mix somewhere. One stand out track for me is towards the back-end of the album. Obviously, after you’ve heard it, entitled ‘Animal’, it’s a very different beast to what I’m used to from The Sounds. It has a much more acoustic feel to it, but maintains a light, catchy pop feel to it, and it will infiltrate your mind and stay there for days when you hear it. Definitely a highlight for me, despite the fact the rest of the album is pretty consistently strong.
Certainly not my favourite of the five albums, but I’m very happy with the result, and one thing that interests me is how all this new material will effect the set when they play live. I’ll certainly be keeping my eye out for tickets, as an opportunity to recreate what was already the best live performance I’ve witnessed, would be a dream come true. The biggest plus of all being, last time I saw them I went with my girlfriend at the time… Next time, I’ll be going to see my girlfriend perform. Maja Ivarsson, the lead singer from The Sounds doesn’t know we’re together yet…. but she will… she will.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)
Weekend is available to purchase now.