Cato Salsa Experience
Roseland Ballroom
Portland, OR

Easily on of the hottest new shows this year! If they can live up to the hype and keep delivering shows this good Soundtrack of our Lives (SOOL) will be HUGE! Formed from the ashes of one of Sweden’s most influential bands, Union Carbide Productions, the quintet have merged a unique blend of ‘60s psych with power-driven Stones-like grit. Never sounding retro, Soundtrack of Our Lives is a thoroughly modern band that is actually extending '60s themes and ideas in ways that acts from that time never imagined. Each of the bands three albums set a different mood yet sound very much in tune with one another.

“Welcome to the Infant Freebase” (1998) dramatic reconfiguration elemental forces, which echoed the majesty and ambitions of classic albums past recalling everyone from the Doors to Pink Floyd to Led Zeppelin, while somehow managing to avoid the pitfalls of nostalgia. “Extended Revelation for the Psychic Weaklings of Western Civilization” (1999) is musically more focused on the trippy and ethereal side of the group's personality reminiscent of '70s Pink Floyd in many areas. With their third album “Behind the Music” (2002) the group are most concise and in it for the rock moving from Stooges punk riffs to Love’s psych to Zappa strange yet brilliantly sculpted.

To set the mood for the night were the open-chord, post-Cardigan
Cato Salsa Experience. A scruffy bunch brought over from Oslo, Norway. The foursome consisting of singer and guitarist Cato Thomassen, bassist Christian Engfelt, drummer Jon Magne Riise and house vixon keyboardist Nina Bjorndalen meld a garage-pop full-on rock set into a must-see affair. They are creatively sloppy and significantly cluttered but with a strong sense of psychedelia and just enough pop smarts to make it work. Touring in support of the major US debut “A Good Tip for a Good Time” (2002) they make the most of ‘Listen to Me Daddy'O’, ‘So, the Circus Is Back in Town’, ‘M.F.’, ‘Deadbeat’, ‘Move On’, ‘High Heeled Leather Boots’ and the righteous ‘Time to Freak Out!’ They were rough and ready and had just enough brash to keep the crowd interested.

Soundtrack of Our Lives took the stage it was a different animal.

Union Carbide split in ’95 after a decent run of Captain Beefheart meets the Stooges-like records. Ebbot Lundberg (vocals) and Ian Person (guitar) eventually founded Soundtrack of Our Lives with Mattias Barjed (guitar) Ake Karl Kalle Gustafsson (Bass) and Martin Hederos (keyboards). Together they created of spellbinding weave that memorized and intoxicated the Roseland lower ballroom.

From the start it was obvious the band were going to focus on the harder edge of “Behind The Music”. A supercharged ‘Infra Riot’ was the first volley that came over the heads of the modest crowd. Then came ‘Mind the Gap’ and the spine-tingling ‘Still Aging’ a most amazing creation built up to crescendo in sustained ecstasy. ‘The Flood’, the piano-driven ‘Tonight’ and ‘21st Century Rip Off’ battled for attention as Lundberg wearing a monk-like dress wondered through a hushed crowd singing "everyone's been cheated by everyone," – then reved it up in a frenzied stomper. According to the Universal web site, Lundberg is "your everyday hippie Viking punk songwriter genius, and also a true entertainer." All of which is true especially live.

Resurrecting ‘Instant Repeater’ off their crisp debut, the guitar prowess of Olsson and Person become competitive and the games began. Returning to “Behind the Music” they tracked the album in mixed order. ‘Nevermore’ (with Barjed sporting a double-necked guitar), and ‘Sister Surround’ each christened a new era for rock music. Even the nerdy-looking drummer Fredrik Sandsten was spot-on bashing his drums with relentless precision.

Moving into the encore with ‘In Your Veins’ it was more than clear we had just witnessed something so unique and pure that it was almost religious. Reaching into their back pocket the band pulled out ‘Galaxy Gramophone’ off the “Homo Habilis Blues” (1996) EP and ‘Dow Jones Syndrome’ from “Gimme Five! (2000) EP” to end the night in complete and utter amazment.