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Sounds Like Violence

With Blood on My Hands

(Deep Elm; US: 12 Feb 2007; UK: Available as import)

Rarely has a band’s sound lived up to its name, but Sounds Like Violence churn out one frantic outburst after another that takes no prisoners or hostages. Whether it’s the drum rolls and fills of Daniel Petersson or the “play or die” approach by guitarists Andreas Soderlund and Philip Hall, songs like “Nothing” jump out and grab you by the gullet. The primal nature of “Were You Ever in Love With Me?”, which they take to another level, is equally enjoyable and refreshing. What you hear is what you get—there’s no second or third take production crap going on with “Wrong”, which is a bit more complex and intricate, but never heads into an emo/screamo domain. Not a moment of this album demands less than your full attention, whether it is the winding, dramatic “Until Death Do Us Apart” or the pleasing “Changes”. Fans of the Soundtrack of Our Lives and the Hives would relish the band, although this group seems to show another side of themselves with the mid-tempo pop of “Favourite Son”. Even the homestretch has the band still knocking tunes out of the park, particularly the boogie-tinged “Cold Cold Blood” or the adventurous “Directions”. Sounds like violence? Sounds like manna from heaven.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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