|Bad Afro Records
Home to Sweatmaster, The Royal Beat Conspiracy, Baby Woodrose and The Burnouts
Fastly becoming one of the top labels pushing Scandinavian Rock to the Man is Denmark's Bad Afro Records. An independent monster of a label, they are snatching up garage rock pumped with pure adrenaline and bundling them in compilation to peddle like cheap porno. The first three comps introduced bands like The Flaming Sideburns, Mother Superior and The Peepshows to critical acclaim. The third installment of the ÅgPushing Scandinavian RockÅh compilation series takes a meaty look at some of the real trail-blazers of the genre. The first half of the CD boasts the hottest new acts in and around Scandinavia followed by some of the more established bands.
Among the hottest are the power-driving Sweatmaster and their debut "Sharp Cut." Their breakout single 'I Am A Demon And I Love Rock 'n Roll' is catching a huge buzz. The combination of open-chord melee and frantic bar-room piano bring this hypnotic thriller right to the front of a sonically brilliant opus. Voted "Best New Finnish Band" for the last five years, the Sweat boys blow through more hits than a debut should have. Comparison of a full on collision between James Brown and AC/DC are more than accurate when you check out songs like the Doors-fueled 'Hold It', the guitar masterpiece of 'Precious' and the ripping 'Too Much Love'. The trio deliver with guts, cunning twists and turns and a sense of humor that accentuate a fun-loving gang holed up in a musty garage for far to long.
Gothenburg's The Royal Beat Conspiracy has redefined themselves and come up with a fresh, vibrant mixture of southern soul and alternative rock. They mix an organ-heavy Doors vibe with a sixties beat that drives songs like ‘Try Me’ and “Soulshake’ right into your brain. As a sophomore outing "Dig It!" is more focused than the pop, garage, disco of “Gala Galore.” The record clocks at 33 minutes with 10 songs produced by Torsten Larsson (Soundtrack Of Our Lives) pushing some serious vintage sound. Check out ‘(No No No) I Can’t Take It Anymore’ and the groovy soul stomper ‘Good All Over’ and its hypnotic chorus "Its all right - I feel good all over" for real addiction. From the Southern California, Baja-inspired ‘St. Michael Theme’ to the late-night ballad ‘By Your Side’ the album reeks of clever, seductive passion.
The Burnouts “Close To Break Evil” is more akin to ‘70s brash. One play isn’t enough, you’ve got to get them in the car player at full blast and drive really, really fast. Both their full-length scorchers ‘Close to Breakevil’ and ‘Go Go Racing!’ are full of powerful punk rock anthems. Contagious is ‘You Lose’, ‘Just Like You’ and ‘Bad Blood’ cut in the mold of Ramones sweat and Pistols piss. Centering around a festering guitar lead, rapid-fire kick drums and colossal bass over a set of female back up pipes make this a blistering assault. Run through ‘Return Of The Action Man’, ‘I Can’t Afford It’ and the timeless ‘Shack Your Butt’ to feel the sonic heat of the Burnouts.
Return to the “Pushing Scandinavian Rock…Vol. 3” for another monster in Gothenburg’s Vegas V.I.P. ‘Nightrider.’ Hands down, a masterpiece which may give the band their biggest hit yet. Coming straight out of the '60s California sound, a sound which made Chris Issac such a legend, is used to it’s full potential here and makes this track a spectacular charmer.
Other numbers include The Chronics - Slippin' and Slidin' taken from the sessions that yielded this years “Make Your Move” has some serious soulful swagger. As dose Danish rockers On Trial which have been around for 15 years. ‘Higher’ is taken from their Bad Afro debut. The Defectors organ-driven garage rocker ‘Live To See (Your Face Again)’ sits close to The Royal Beat Conspiracy and Baby Woodrose. The Flaming Sideburns need no introduction with their Spanish-tinged ‘Blow The Roof’ - Detroit Rock 'n Soul overload. The Ultra Bimbos are four girls from Helsinki delivering in-your-face pop punk on ‘PMS 666’ taken from their deleted Bad Afro 7".
The next four tracks pull more from a ‘60s garage sound than the ‘70s heavier-guitar barrage. Copenhagen's Baby Woodrose ‘Never Coming Back’ take their sampling from the band’s new Bad Afro 7" single. The Royal Beat Conspiracy ‘Try Me’ uses the alternative version of a song that appears on their sophomore debut ‘Dig It”. It represents the group’s special take on soul-fused rock and roll with some intense rockabilly riffing. Then we have seven bands that all start with “The”. Finnish newcomers, The Species ‘Ram It Up’ is another killer and make this comp a must! The Launderettes are Europe’s answer to the Donnas (sort of) with full-on harmonies and one very catchy hook in ‘Nobody But Me’. The Maggots ‘Leave Me Alone’ is ‘60s garage meets ‘70s punk. The Borderlines ‘Come On, Hold On’ blaze with some wicked-ass organ/guitar vaults. The Mutants are an “instro” band and nail ‘Kung Fu’ with Dick Dale-like riffs and a mountain of horns.
Check ‘em all out at: www.badafro.dk