Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Sweden Project

"So tied up with no devotion / Your life is falling apart"

If you've ever listened - presumably as punishment for some suitably grave misdemeanour - to the Radio 1 Punk Show, hosted by an entity called Mike Davies, you may well be wondering whether punk still exists, or indeed ever existed (to be fair, it's not all bad, but were we to get our hands on any punk show then we'd be giving you Discharge, Scalplock and Flyblown to the max, and possibly attempting to indulge our usual after-three pints argument that everything on Sarah was punk. Especially the Poppyheads). Anyway, proof that punk does exist and - fans of the Exploited will be delighted to hear - is not dead, is provided by a new 7" from Lognhalsmottagningen, the bastard hardcore child of men who've recorded on both Sarah and Cloudberry, which makes a nice double. "Oron Nasa" is on four labels (Yellow Mica, 555, Promenade and Slumberland), has an authentic crust-punk sleeve and contains seven amazing tracks, sung in Swedish, that start with the raw magic of Riot City bands or even Bullshit Detector compilations but can't help but weave in Boyracer-ish energy and even some guitar melody.

"Oron Nasa", in turn, is mild-mannered when compared to Nasum's "Doombringer". The immutable laws of musical cliche have long provided that any band of any genre associated however tendentiously with metal must release at least one live-in-Japan album, and Nasum duly deliver theirs, recorded in 2004 before Mieszko's death in the tsunami heralded the band's demise. What saves "Doombringer" being merely a tour souvenir, as most of these things are, is that the recording quality rather belies its status as live album - and that the usual loving care has been taken by Anders Jakobson to order and curate the record, albeit that it was probably rather easier than when he had to assemble the 141 tracks of the still ineffably perfect "Grind Finale".