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Millencolin - Kingwood


Review: Jack Foley

SWEDISH punk rockers, Millencolin, return with their fastest and most heartfelt long-player to date, in the form of Kingwood.

Taking their cue from the Southern California hardcore sound of bands like Operation Ivy, the Descendants and NOFX, Millencolin have been flying the punk flag since the late '80s, during which time they have sold over two million albums.

Kingwood is said to represent the band at their most mature and least personal, having run out of observations from their own perspective.

Or, as vocalist/bassist Nikola Sarcevic states: "I've written a lot of songs about myself over the years and last year, my solo album was quite personal lyrically. I didn't have that much inspiration to take from my own life this time! I felt like I'd emptied myself, so I wrote more about other people and from other people's perspectives."

The album that results is a suitably lively effort that does, indeed, provoke immediate comparisons with the southern Californian sound, as well as the early punk roots of Green Day.

Hence, the punk movement is sure to embrace the album that features a couple of stand-out tracks.

Yet overall, things do tend to become a little repetitive and the maturity that they speak of in their publicity isn't always evident.

This still sounds like a band content to thrash about as often as possible, delivering 12 tracks of 'pedal to the floor, flame-licked speaker wreckers, powered along by a chemical clash of the political and personal and shot straight through with righteous starbursts of passion'.

One of the best tracks on the album, however, is former single, Ray, which contains an infectious energy that should go down a storm with the skater boy crowd.

The song actually name checks the Greek philosopher, Herakleitos expression, 'Panta Rei'.

"It basically means that you don't go down in the same river twice and I guess that's symbolic of life," explains Nikola.

Stalemate is another highlight, a typically punk effort that retains an element of fun to it even though it could be done by many other bands in the genre.

Such moments are rare, however, given the band's penchant for keeping things fast and furious.

Simple Twist of Hate, for instance, sums up the full-on nature of many of the tracks, emerging as a minute and a half of pure fury.

While Mooseman's Jukebox and Farewell My Hell follow similar paths that soon become tiring.

Kingwood is therefore an album that works best in small doses.

 

Track listing:
1. Farewell My Hell
2. Birdie
3. Cash Or Clash
4. Shut You Out
5. Biftek Supernova
6. My Name Is Golden
7. Ray
8. Novo
9. Simple Twist Of Hate
10. Stalemate
11. Mooseman’s Jukebox
12. Hard Times

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