söndag 1 februari 2009

Vacum - Rädd För Tystnaden LP 1980

"In 1977 Stephan Segermark and Mats Hammerman became classmates in the first year of high school. The had been childhood friends and found each other at once. The dinosaurs and Airfix models in scale 1:72 was now replaced by music by bands like The Saints, Wire and Sham 69. It did not take long before they started talking about forming a band. In 1978 the formed The Blank Generation which tried to rehearse three times but the drummer never showed up as he was more interested in driving his moped. The only thing they ever did was a badge.

Then they heard or a female drummer, which Nicke Hasselberg had played with in his first punk band, and Stephan and Mats called her at once.

The first rehearsal with Cathrine Fandén was on the 14th of January 1979 and it worked at once. Then they convinced Stephans neighbour Lars Holma to join on bass and on the 23rd of March they had their first concert under the name of Smudge with a repertoire of Three girl rumba (Wire), No heart (The Vibrators), Louie Louie (the Stooges version), Last Orders (The Fall), Sunday Morning Nightmare (Sham 69) and six self penned songs. On the next gig all the covers were gone and the band changed name to Vacum. On the 12th of August the band went to Gävle and during a few hours recorded and mixed six songs for their own Ep and also the track Svartvitt for The Sundsvall Punk Ep. Soon after that Cathrine moved to London to be au pair but Stephan and Mats did not give up and instead convinced another childhood friend Anders Olsson to join in on bass and also found drummer Sank Sankqvist who just got kicked out of Pizzoar.

Just 3 weeks after forming this new entity, the band had their first concert and after that things moved rapidly. The Maskerad single was recorded and made it to single of the week in Expressen (the most important music pages at the time) and when Cathrine came back from London she joined in on vocals since the drum chair was occupied.

The first album was recorded in spring 1980 and during the recording they discovered that Cathrine also could play the piano, and had real talent for it, so soon after the release of the first album a synth was bought and Vacum had found its form. Most of the material was based on ideas of Cathrine that all the others contributed too. The first album opened a lot of doors and the band started touring a lot and the second album was recorded in MNWs studio in Vaxholm. They pride themselves of writing a lot of material which resulted in about 150 songs. The aim was to have a new song on each local gig which resulted in long long rehearsals and to top that a lot of gigs which started to wear the band down.

After the recordings of the second album Den Sista Vintern, Cathrine and Sank left the band and was replaced with Magnus Lindh (who been assisting engineer during the recordings of Den Sista Vintern and had played in Rasta Hunden) on vocals and keyboards and Patrik Högl on drums. Cathrine formed synthpioneers Dockhuset and Sank went to USA to become a drummer for Richard Lloyd and later became a well known producer producing Thåström, Killing Joke and Paradise Lost among others.

The new version of Vacum had a period of long synth based songs which gradually changed to shorter and much more snappy songs and the single Dagar i Morgon was that version of the band at its best. Magnus background as an actor also added to the band resulting in better live shows. The band toured a lot and the third album Flugor och Rosor was recorded at extreme speed.

After the recordings of the third album Stephan moved to Stockholm and Magnus to Karlstad and after a while even Patrik moved to Stockholm and the band that used to rehearse for days suddenly had a problem to get together. The last recording to the compilation album En samling Rock från Sundsvall 1985 shows a band that had lost direction and focus. When a tour was booked in April 1985 Anders suddenly said no. He refused to go on tour unrehearsed and the tour was cancelled. Vacum made their last gig in June 1985. One of their best gigs ever.

The band has been resurrected twice. Both for rock club Pipeline jubilees. 1993 the 1984 version of the band played and in 1998 the original version played. The year after they also recorded one song "Scream" for Massproduktions 20 years jubilee -CD - Were only in it for the Money. "

Information taken from their excellent myspace page. this first record of theirs is a bit too stumbling-punk to be of real interest, but theres some excellent ideas floating around through the whole album and the lyrics is right on the spot sometimes. the only real flaw i can think of is mats hammermans vocals, which isnt very good. but considering this is a real punk record and that it was their first, all in all its an intriguing album well worth a listen or five.

lördag 10 januari 2009

Bitch Boys - Continental LP 1981

Bitch Boys started out as a standard punk band somewhere around 1977 in stockholm, releasing a bunch of singles and one LP with snotty punk in the sex pistols vein. Then came a change in musical direction and this LP was recorded with another singer than the one from the punk years. If im not mistaken the singer here, Max Lorentz IV (!), was a judge on the swedish version of tv program Jeopardy for a couple of years.
The music is similar to ultravox, japan and the whole new romatic-package which were so popular in those days. I cant begin to imagine why they changed their style so dramatically, perhaps with the wish of greater commercial success? also, i guess all of you who enjoy "minimal synth" will like this one as theres some hints of those things. still, its not a bad record.

onsdag 7 januari 2009

Fahrenheit - Vi Har Sprängt 7" 1984

This second, and sadly last, single of theirs is a bit darker than their first, with more of a aggressive take on the vocals as well as the harsher bassline and repetitive drums. its quite hard to find a band that sounds like fahrenheit... maybe if simple minds had played no wave, like on the a side? not forgetting the brilliant orential-influenced song on the b-side. what i cant understand, though, is why they never released more material than the two singles, considering the fantastic quality of their music. enjoy this one and see to it that theyll be remembered.

Fahrenheit - Mysterier 7" 1983

Sometime between Schnabels last single and this one, they decided to change name to Fahrenheit, and switched drummers from Lennart Holmström to Johan Schjelderup (at least i think they were drummers, but please correct me if im wrong, the sleeves tell nothing about any line up at all). the music also changed a bit, but kept the intense new wave of say, the best parts on the "pop-job" sampler, and took it to new levels of great music. the surrealistic lyrics of "Under skydd av det vackra" gets to me each listen. also, i must say that the vocal parts are much better in fahrenheit than in schnabel. this is a great, and somehow forgotten, single.

apologies my brothers

for not posting for so long. during my absence from this blog ive been painting and i have watched almost every episode of the x files. im at the middle of season 8 for the moment. but since the end of all things draws near i guess ill have to share more of those secret treasures that i keep in my drawers, hopefully ill start posting more on a daily basis now. we'll see.

onsdag 19 november 2008

V/A - Pop Job LP 1980

This was the first LP to be released on Klas Lundings legendary Stranded Rekords, a label that started out as a fanzine but eventually merged into a successful record-company (the peak being reached when the major label Polar bought the entire Stranded-roster). on this fine sampler we can hear four young bands (and one really bad one) in the start of their musical career. two of them would gain national fame and one would suceed all others and live on in the 21th century, its such a shame.
Lustans Lakejer started out as a mediocre new wave-band, as can be heard on this record with two very early songs. eventually they became pop-heroes and sold quite a lot of records, always with a kind of distance to everyday life, taking the new romantic movements dreams of a life in luxury and blending it with some james bond-style of dekadence. does it sound good? decide after youve heard the songs. johan kinde, the singer and lyricist in LL, have, i must say, one of the dullest voices ive ever heard (think of david sylvian/ferry meets a politician) AND he wrote (and still writes. the mans been writing a book now!) the worst lyrics of all time. at least from my point of view. LL is still around today, and even appeared in the swedish schlager-festival.
but putting Lustans Lakejer aside for a moment, the other bands are great. Kai Martin & Stick!, the other band that got some kind of fame and released four fantastic records, also just started out as a band and the tracks here lacks some of the great majestic nature of what they would perform later on. still, theres some excellent ska-pop in them.
Schnabel which youve heard from my previous posts appears here with two equally fantastic songs. a bit darker than their singles, possibly a hint of what would come next in their evolution.
N-Liners came from Uppsala (Kai martin were from Gothenburg, the others from Stockholm) and released one single in 78 but at that point they played punk-pop. for this release they have matured into a great jerky organ-driven fast-paced pop-band much alike that of say, XTC! its a shame they didnt release any more stuff than this one and two more tracks on another compilation.
finally Studio Sex, the worst of these bands. ive never liked their two mod-rock bits and i doubt that i ever will. despite some low marks though, this is a great compilation of the swedish new wave. enjoy!

tisdag 18 november 2008

Schnabel - Herre Med Portfölj 7" 1980

For me, this is a giant leap in their musical abilities. where the previous single was rather dull, this one hits all the right buttons and delivers two fantastic, unresistable pop tunes! this single was one of the first to be released on the now legendary Stranded rekords, and apparently only 50 copies were sold with a cover (large, fold-out poster-cover) so its a sort of rarity. after this, as i said, they changed their name and got really interesting. more of them soon. meanwhile, enjoy these two a-sides.