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Something to Die for

The Sounds

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Album Review

Swedish new wave revivalists the Sounds have always evinced a passion for '80s club-ready dance-rock, but on the band's 2011 studio album Something to Die For, dancing to hot beats is clearly the rallying cry. In fact, the band opens the album with the pulsing and atmospheric one-two punch of the dancefloor call-to-arms cut "It's So Easy" and the equally as urgent "Dance with the Devil." The tracks are late-night house and disco-inflected anthems that find vocalist Maja Ivarsson lustfully crooning, "Together we conquer our planet with DANCE!" Given that the Sounds seemed to perfect the Blondie meets the Cars new wave rock sound on their brilliant 2006 effort Dying to Say This to You and similarly attractive 2008 effort Crossing the Rubicon, it’s refreshing to hear them branch out into an even more synth and electronic-based sound here. Which isn’t to say they have completely forsaken their guitar rock roots, as such cuts as the driving "The No No Song" and the romantically epic late album track "Won't Let Them Tear Us Apart" are superb U2 meets the Killers-style dance-rock anthems. Elsewhere, the Sounds keep the dance cuts coming with the Euro-disco-inspired "Better Off Dead" and the funky Roxette meets the Arctic Monkeys-sounding "Yeah Yeah Yeah." Ultimately, by pushing the dance beats and the slabs of synth to the foreground, the Sounds have increased their pop appeal and delivered an album that pleases your ears while also demanding that you leave your blood on the dancefloor.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Helsingborg, Sweden

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Sounds — a Swedish group whose poppy, synthesizer-heavy music is unapologetically indebted to Blondie and Missing Persons — feature the coed talents of vocalist Maja Ivarsson, keyboardist Jesper Anderberg, bassist Johan Bengtsson, drummer Fredrik Nilsson, and guitarist Felix Rodriguez. The new wave throwbacks first banded together in 1999 in Stockholm, where they recorded much of the debut album Living in America. The record charted at number four the week after its Swedish release...
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Something to Die for, The Sounds
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