As I’ve noted countless times in my reviews, I am a firm believer that the sweetest and best of indie-pop from around the world comes from Sweden. While The Legends kicked off this phase, my attention was not focused on that country until I discovered label mates Acid House Kings. With the success of their cherished Sing Along With The Acid House Kings (2005, Labrador) comes the smash hit single “Do What You Wanna Do” in a Single/EP of the same name, this time on the Florida label TwentySeven Records with four exclusive tracks—one of which is exclusive to the US release of the single.
I list Johan Angergård as someone I would like to meet, and it is true. His music strikes a chord with me, whether he’s recording with Club 8, Acid House Kings or The Legends. He is, in my opinion, one of the most creative musicians around. But with the Acid House Kings comes something more: a quartet of talented indie-pop musicians who can easily be listed among greats like Belle & Sebastian and Morrissey. Why Sweden doesn’t have the pop stigma of Glasgow, I am sure that it is coming.
The first time I heard “Do What You Wanna Do”, I thought it was the latest single by The Legends. The song features hand claps and a consistent tambourine—you can almost hear the producer telling the group I gotta have more hand claps like Bruce Dickinson to Gene Frenkle with the cowbell. While the Bruce and Gene sketch warrants a laugh, “Do What You Wanna Do” warrants applause as I gave it the runner-up position to “Best Song of 2005”, second only to Voxtrot’s “The Start of Something.”
“Come Josephine” features Julia Lannerheim’s sweet vocal stylings while “Drama Aside” adds the vocals of Angergård brothers Johan and Niklas. “The Camera” features piano and Julia on vocals for one of the softest, most beautiful songs Acid House Kings has recorded to date. In many ways, it has hints of the softer side of Saint Etienne’s latest album. “This Heart is a Stone” is the other track from Sing Along With… and, in many ways, is single worthy itself. “Keep Your Love” is exclusive to the US release of the EP/Single and is the most up-tempo of those found on Do What You Wanna Do with exception of the title track. The exclusives, with exception of “Keep Your Love,” are slower and softer than most tracks on Sing Along With, but do not detract from the overall power of the album.
Against Sing Along With…, the Do What You Wanna Do Single/EP holds steady the course of not only one of the most prominent bands in Europe, but one of the greatest bands worldwide. Props to the Kings!
This review was originally published July 25, 2006 on the old version of FensePost. Acid House Kings are currently working on their follow-up to Sing Along With; follow Acid House Kings on Twitter, and you may hear more as the currently unknown/unannounced release date approaches.
TwentySeven Records [CDEP, 2005]
1. Do What You Wanna Do
2. Come Josephine
3. This Heart Is A Stone
4. Drama Inside
5. This Camera
6. Keep Your Love