This unique little 7-inch single is one of two singles the Swedish indie pop band Acid House Kings released in 1992 along with their first album, Pop, Look & Listen. I’m not entirely sure which came first, this split or their Play Pop! EP, which was also released as a 7-inch. This is the lone split I’ve found from one of my favorite Swedish bands, and it pairs their early sounds with the equally twee band out of Germany, The Bartlebees. This is a co-release bewteen Cornflakes Zoo and Alienor Records.
In 1991, The Bartlebees released their first single, and while they embody the twee and lo-fi sounds, their music is a bit heavier with garage pop leanings.
A Rarity & Crate Digging Gold
I stumbled upon this 7-inch at the now defunct Lower Queen Anne location of Easy Street Records in Seattle about 15 years ago. I was a bit shocked to not just find an early single from one of my favorite indie pop bands, but one I hadn’t heard of at the time. And it something I loved — a price sticker reading just $2!
There were 1,000 copies pressed according to the release base on Discogs.
This 7-inch comes with a really cool 12-page booklet insert. Take a look at the photos I took of my copy below:
Split 7-inch Review
This is signature early work by Acid House Kings, which was heavily influenced by the twee stylings of Sarah Records.
A bio from the band on Discogs reads:
“Between 1992 and 2002, inspired by the 10 albums in 10 years from Felt, Acid House Kings released a trilogy of albums with one album released every fifth year. The first, “Pop, look & listen!” (1992) is maybe best left unmentioned. The Kings rate it 2.4 out of 5.”Acid House Kings Band Page [Discogs.com]
I don’t know if they feel the same about the pair of their 1992 singles, but it’s likely.
While I haven’t given the LP Pop, look & listen much attention, this split is pretty damn lo-fi with barely in tune vocals, super twee jangly guitars, and lightly catchy lyrics. You can tell it’s an early iteration of the band, especially if you’re familiar with their more produced post 2000s work.
Here’s “Their lives are as sad as mine” courtesy some random YouTuber:
The Bartlebees’ contributions sound more like late 60s garage rock than something released in the early 90s
Overall, it’s kind of a cool piece, and one you can’t really find in the states. Copies are available worldwide through Discogs, and it’ll run you between $15-20 USD these days.