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
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
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
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