Recent Music


Fans of Swedish skate-punk will already be listening to Millencolin’s new album, Kingwood, but here’s a heads-up for everyone else. (Even if it’s not the hippest Scandinavian country anymore.)

I thought Home From Home was fantastic, and this is at least as good, and certainly more consistent. It seems like most US pop-punk bands make a stab at a “serious” direction as early as their second album but, after almost thirteen years, Millencolin are still working on enthusiastic, unashamedly fun music. As a helpful exposition of my idea of fun, I think the cover is funny.

Fan opinion seems to be split. Some think they sold out after the first EP, others think they peaked with Pennybridge Pioneers. And yeah, those are good too, but this is really good.

To prove that I can appreciate more than one type of music within a reasonably narrow genre, I’ve also been listening to 50 Foot Wave’s Golden Ocean. There are three, slightly re-recorded, tracks from the eponymous debut EP but, for some reason, the album is much, much better than that first release. It’s impressive in itself that Kristin Hersh is essentially juggling three separate brands, but to give all of them a distinctive catalogue of quality music is even more of an achievement. It’s hardly pop music, but neither is it wilfully experimental.

(Obviously I also picked up Funeral and The Dresden Dolls, but it seems like the hipster hype machine already has those, also excellent, works covered.)

Also, it’s Dave Winer’s birthday today. Happy birthday, Dave!

(Music: Tsunami Bomb, “Headlights on a Hand Grenade”)
(More from this year, or the front page? [K])