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 â€œDo What You Wanna Doâ€ in a Single/EP of the same name, this time on the Florida label TwentySeven Records with four exclusive tracksâ€”one of which is exclusive to the US release of the single.
I list Johan AngergÃ¥rd 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 â€œDo What You Wanna Doâ€, I thought it was the latest single by The Legends. The song features hand claps and a consistent tambourineâ€”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, â€œDo What You Wanna Doâ€ warrants applause as I gave it the runner-up position to â€œBest Song of 2005â€, second only to Voxtrot’s â€œThe Start of Something.â€
â€œCome Josephineâ€ features Julia Lannerheim’s sweet vocal stylings while â€œDrama Asideâ€ adds the vocals of AngergÃ¥rd brothers Johan and Niklas. â€œThe Cameraâ€ 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. â€œKeep Your Loveâ€ 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 â€œKeep Your Love,â€ 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.
Acid House Kings: Do What You Wanna Do [mp3]
[audio:090620_acid_house_kings_-_do_what_you_wanna_do.mp3|titles=Do What You Wanna Do|artists=Acid House Kings]
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