Everything goes in circles. They heydays of Kim Wilde and Blondie were long ago, yet here we are in 2007 with a band of young Swedes called The Sounds and, you’d swear, they’d been reared on little else.
Second album Dying To Say This To You appeared in Sweden this time last year, and even north America – including, reputedly, big fan Dave Grohl – is already familiar with Maja Ivarsson’s troupe of five. Finally, now the album gets a UK release, with 18 tracks, courtesy of Warner.
Like umpteen Swedish acts before them, their lyrics are ostensibly in English but generally forgettable. Instead it’s their music, with integrated synth played by the band’s youngest member Jesper Anderberg, that largely defines what they’re about. Packing an early punch, while leaving little of lyrical interest for return visits, means The Sounds are your new favourite good times party band.
A slew of catchy singles is headed by Tony The Beat, in which Maja’s vocals sound scarily close to compatriot Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife, and film soundtrack favourite Queen Of Apology. Living In America could be a companion piece to Kim Wilde’s Kids In America – 24 Hours reminds of it too. Painting By Numbers is the album’s most memorable blast of new wave fun.
The UK edition is too long, at 18 tracks – earlier editions comprised 10 tracks and two remixes. And a star gets lopped off for the inescapably awful ballad Night After Night – it’s about as admirable as Evanescence with a hangover. But there’s enough here to suggest The Sounds are hosting the most energetic party in Sweden right now, and it’d be churlish to refuse their invitation.