Archive for the ‘Sweden’ Category

Blindside - NYC

Blindside – NYC

After almost 8 years of not performing in America, Blindside, from Sweden decided to pay New York City a visit for ONE show at The Marlin Room @ Webster Hall to celebrate the 13-year Anniversary of what had become their most successful album, Silence. The album, released on Elektra Records and produced by Howard Benson had a big push in America and abroad, boasting radio and video rotation with key tracks “Pitiful” and “Sleepwalking”’. They also toured extensively in support of the record. The band had everything in place to become a successful juggernaught.

Silence album cover

Silence album cover

But as anyone in the music “Industry” knows, the key to success is a fickle mystery, at the very least. A few years later, label changes and less of a nudge from said labels Blindside would eventually become more of an underground/cult band. A few more brilliant albums and little public performance many were left with the question of “What happened to Blindside?” And not just until recently the revelation became sweet. Nothing short of 2 months ago the bands Facebook page became more active with posts directly from Simon (Guitarist) and then one lonely show date posted, for New York City. And, what we would get to experience was truly a night to be remembered by everyone in attendance.

Blindside last set foot in New York City’s Knitting Factory some 8 years ago, in which they performed a setlist which lead us from the past to the most recent of their material, a great theme and delivered most powerfully only the way the quartet can. Quiet frankly, one of the more passionate bands going today they returned to New York with a purpose, and that was to perform all of Silence in it’s entirety. Now, it’s no small feat to perform any record in full by any artist. In fact, most bands put a song or two on their record with all intensive purposes of never performing them live. In this case, there was not a note left unplayed or a scream left unhinged from Christian, Simon, Tomas, and Marcus, the 4 parts that make up Blindside since 1994, yes, it can happen, original members can stay together and weather the storm, it’s rare but indeed precious when it occurs.

A cool blue light filled the room and a sweet orchestration of violins came over the sound system. It was time, and we were all hungry and elated and ready to burst with the energy of opener “Caught A Glimpse”, we knew what was coming, but didn’t truly yet understand the extent of it. One by one the band walked onto the stage. A great opener to an album and an even better one to a live performance. The eruption had begun, from band and onlooker alike. “What just happened? The Hollywood Empire strikes back and this time, I am standing in their way!” From opener to closer Blindside was a barrage of honest and raw energy, humbled and grateful for their crowd on this night. The show would inevitably wind down with the solemn and chilling version of title track, “Silence”. Simon is unquestionably a brilliant guitarist, being able to hear this song live was truly magical as he and Christian came to the stage as a duo to perform the somber piece. “We’ve never really been a band for the whole ‘acoustic sit on a stool performance’, but tonight I guess we will make and exception” spoke Christian, and that would lead us truly to victory. “So I think I’ll stay, caught up in silent prayer, cause I believe in silence. Our hearts speak the same words, so why don’t we just walk along the shoreline with our silent song? Cause I believe in silence. Our hearts speak the same words…the same words.” And just like that…they were gone. But the crowd would not have it, leaving the floor rumbling and chants of Blindside! Blindside!

“I almost didn’t want to come back out, it seemed like such a perfect way to end,” Christian softly said before they slid into “Eye Of The Storm” from album About A Burning Fire. Followed by the always haunting “My Alibi” from masterpiece The Great Depression. We were then treated to an unnamed new song, which of course is a great sign. And in closing were left with an earth shattering version of “About A Burning Fire”

Poignant, sharp and more important than ever Blindside is alive and well. Silence unfolded before a few hundred people from all over the world who came to witness, and it left our ears ringing and mouths salivating for more. I believe in Silence…

Blindside

Blindside

REFUSED – FREEDOM

Posted: July 8, 2015 by Soda in Music, Refused, Soda, Sweden
Tags: , , , , ,
REFUSED - FREEDOM album cover

REFUSED – FREEDOM album cover

So, REFUSED have returned. Fully, and completely with their new record entitled FREEDOM. It is a selection of 10 strong songs, fresh and powerful from a band that has become almost iconic at this point which borders on miraculous…for many different reasons. One being that they explicitly had said they would never reunite and two being from a band that was so dragged down and beaten during the height of their existence, it’s shocking that they even tamed the idea of a few reunion shows a couple of years ago, but they did, and it proved to be very positive and successful selling out large venues they normally could never have set foot in. They are one of those examples of a band that got huge when it was over, even releasing a DVD Refused Are Fucking Dead which basically documents their last year as a band and the terrible situations they were put in and had to deal with, from broken down venues to empty basements with little in attendance.

And well, stranger things have happened and now Refused is…well, big business. All this from a band that played their swan song in 1998 in the form of an album called The Shape Of Punk To Come, which is now highly regarded and sited as tremendously influential by critics and peers alike. The Shape Of Punk To Come showed a band teetering on the edge of brilliance and insanity all at the same time, a stream of consciousness whirlwind as subtle as a car crash.

Fast forward some 17 years later and the band has lit the flame once again with FREEDOM. Released by seminal punk label, Epitaph. The years have been kind to the foursome who show no signs of fatigue, side projects and disappointments aside they have delivered another fantastic record. Showcasing their signature tightness and smart songwriting both in instrument and lyric alike, singer Dennis Lyxzen has never sounded better.

Album opener and lead single, “Elektra” whips you into shape just 30 seconds in harkening back to classic REFUSED, “the time has come, there’s no escape”, those words ring true upon their return. Never afraid to explore any territory, FREEDOM even gives way to a few booty shaking tracks in “Francafrique” and “War On The Palaces” and we all know Dennis Lyzxen can cut a mean rug! “Destroy The Man” and “366” are REFUSED at their fiercest, sounding like tracks that could have easily landed on the groundbreaking The Shape Of Punk To Come.

Like them or not, REFUSED could have easily been the voice of a generation 20 years ago, or maybe that is yet to still be seen. Either way they will be heard, loud, clear and never ever disingenuous. REFUSED ARE FUCKING ALIVE!