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Remastered to Be Recycled

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Album Review

In the late '80s, Union Carbide Productions were an essential live rock & roll experience whose on-stage theatrics made anything happening in front of the stage seem pretty tame by comparison. The underground was a very self-conscious place, where nostalgia for anything prior to the Ramones revolution wasn't as celebrated as it was when Nirvana covered the Shocking Blue's "Love Buzz." There were exceptions, of course; the Cramps were self-exiled freaks whose outrageousness (and age) gave them license to pillage the '50s freely, but not many folks were really tapped into the '60s punk shamanism vibe of the Stooges with as clean a feed as these Swedes. The early UCP recordings bear this connection out best on "Ring My Bell" and the hilarious corporate hedonism of "Financial Declaration." Later, though, as they trudged on into the '90s, they embraced a jangling, folksy tenderness that they originally lampooned on earlier work, especially the ultra-snide "San Francisco Boogie." The rending of their high-octane fabric probably led to their demise after 1992's Swing. That's not to say that tunes like "Golden Age" are bad; they just signal some awkward growth within the Union Carbide ranks, growth that ultimately led to greater fruits for Björn Olsson and Ebbot Lundberg's next project, the Soundtrack of Our Lives. To be honest, though, there were plenty of "high-octane" moments on their later records, too, and Remastered to Be Recycled does a good job of capturing the full picture of this very dynamic and influential Swedish group that can be heard echoing in the campy Turbonegro, the Hellacopters, and their own work with the Soundtrack of Our Lives.


Formed: 1986

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

How about a bunch of thuggish-sounding, Stooges-inspired pounders from...Sweden? That's right, you American xenophobes, I said Sweden. In fact, I can think of few bands who employed the Stooges primal riff-thud'n'noise better than UCP. Fueled by the rampaging guitars of Patrick Caganis and Bjorn Olsson, and the half-octave, node-encrusted vocal growl (and did this son of a bitch growl!) of Ebbot Lundberg, UCP roared out of the blocks with an awesome debut record entitled In the Air Tonight which,...
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Remastered to Be Recycled, Union Carbide Productions
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