Though they have the same name as a Four Freshmen-style pop vocal group of the 1950s (best known for singing backup with Elvis Presley on several film soundtracks and for their bass singer, Thurl Ravenscroft, who went on to sing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"), the Swedish group called the Mellowmen take their musical cues from a different era. Echoes of AM radio circa 1967-1977 percolate through the Mellowmen's music, from the Beatles and Wings through Elton John, Neil Diamond, Electric Light Orchestra, and countless beloved one-hit wonders. However, singer, songwriter, and bandleader Andreas Nyberg avoids the fatal mistake of using retro mimicry for its own ends, keeping his inspirations as a starting point for his catchy indie pop tunes instead of attempting to replicate his idols' music. Nyberg, a keyboardist, started the Mellowmen in 2001, originally as a studio project. Drafting guitarists Anders Lofgren and Johan Antonsson, bassist Jonas Lofgren, and drummer Peter Nyman to fill out his songs, Nyberg produced the band's ornate debut EP, Get Out of Shape with the Mellowmen, over the next three years. After the four-song EP's 2004 release, the Mellowmen began their first live dates while recording their debut full-length, 2006's Tomorrow's Sound Today. American psychedelic pop label Rainbow Quartz licensed the album and re-released it with new artwork and two extra songs in early 2007. ~ Stewart Mason


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