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Stockholm Slump

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Album Review

Calling Gearhead Records home, Sweden's "Demons" (quotation marks mandatory) returned from the basement with Stockholm Slump. Although the group had released a few singles and EPs, Slump is the first proper follow-up to their 2000 LP, Riot Salvation. Like their more widely know countrymen the Hives, "Demons" seem to have grown up in some sort of musical vacuum where they allowed only a steady diet of Nuggets-approved rock and its grimy offspring, namely MC5 and the Stooges. The group's sound shares common ground with American acts like the New Bomb Turks (who inked a deal with Gearhead themselves), but it also owes a great deal to Finnish garage rats Flaming Sideburns. However, whereas the Sideburns (and the Turks) have tempered their raucous guitar rock with some Stones-y swagger and Velvet Underground-esque cool detachment and cynical romanticism, "Demons" are undiluted rock & roll. The group couldn't be on a more appropriate record label, as the muscle car aesthetic of Gearhead goes perfectly with the group's testosterone-fueled brand of guitar assault. While this unadulterated rock sound will be appealing to many fans of the genre perpetuated by labels like Sympathy for the Record Industry and Crypt, in their attempt to stay true to their genre, "Demons" risk coming across as one dimensional and uninspired. Frontman/guitarist Mathias Carlsson has a vocal style that sounds a bit like an exhausted Eric Davidson with a little Motörhead damage, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it becomes a bit monotonous after a few songs. Guitarist Stefan Jonsson and bassist Muffins (that's right, Muffins) offer up some solid riffs in the Turks/Lazy Cowgirls vein, but ultimately they too become a bit too repetitive for their own good. Picking out specific songs that stand out as highlights is a difficult task, as "Demons" seem to be more about creating an overall feel. The album plays as one long soundtrack rather than songs that are very distinct from one another. It takes several listens before any choruses or riffs begin to make their mark on the listener, but this is still an entertaining, high-octane record that should go over quite well with fans of groups like the New Bomb Turks, Hives, Cheater Slicks, Flaming Sideburns, and MC5. ~ Karen E. Graves, Rovi

Stockholm Slump, Demons
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