Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Absolut Country of Sweden
Imagine my surprise when I learned the de facto Swedish national anthem, " Du Gamla, Du Fria," does not actually feature d-beats (though I'm sure as we speak Tomas Lindberg is pulling together a roster of Swedish punk greats to rectify that oversight).
Because in my mind, even beyond the greatness of Scandi-grind, Sweden first and foremost has always stood out to me as a joyous celebration of Discharge's swinging punk legacy just with way more umlauts. It's a story that begins with seminal punk bands like Anti Cimex and continues through .... a whole lot of other bands that also contain ex-members of Anti Cimex and whatever band Tompa hustled into a studio during his free weekend.
Where Discharge were pissed and spitting, the Swedes (while still dealing a decent amount of aggression) also seemed to have realized that a hopping d-beat can actually be fun. They're screaming, sure, but you can just feel the corners of their mouths quirking, fighting to hide back an idiot grin.
Or maybe that's because Swedish punk bands, like a lot of their Scandinavian kin, tend to stick to their native language, so I have no clue what they're saying. As Totalitar said in the liner notes to Ni Mast Bort!, "... I would feel rather stupid if I wrote about these subjects using someone else's language. This has nothing to do with nationalism, to me it's just a simple fact that I react, think and have much more complex knowledge of the language I grew up with." But language has never been a barrier with Swedish punk, the intent comes through in the musical chops and the vocal passion just fine without resorting to Babel Fish.
Since I've been binging on Swedish punk lately, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. I'm by no means an expert here and compiling this list made me realize my collection is short a few goodies (Krigshot! Svart Sno!), but I haven't made you guys a mixtape in a while and felt the need to share.
Swedish Punk [Mediafire]
Disfear - "Powerload"
Skitsystem - "Det Sociala Arvet"
Avskum - "Masskonsumtions Helvetet"
Victims - "This is the End"
Wolfpack (aka Wolfbrigade) - "Power and Greed"
The Great Deceiver - "Strychnine"
Anti Cimex - "Victims of a Bombraid"
End of All - "Fostrad"
Acursed - "Tunneln I Ljusets Slut Track 13 [Untitled]"
Totalitar - "Mediet Som Vapen"