Sunny chord and smooth melodies interwoven with fuzzy guitars and punchy drumming has proven time and again to be a winning combo not unlike lunch off of Wendy’s 99-cent menu. No fault can be found with a band wearing this tried and true formula on their sleeve, especially if they succeed in pulling it off. Starmarket, a Swedish group, achieve this on Sunday’s Worst Enemy, a collection of 12 or so satisfying tunes, intended to bob your head and thump your chest.
Things start off with “Repetition,” a track that left me scratching my head, for I knew I had heard the vocals somewhere else. Ah! Yes, it’s Hellbender, a very good group from North Carolina, I believe, who put out three very nice records sometime in the mid-‘90s. Elsewhere, traces of Texas Is the Reason could be heard, but you could say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. “Unsaid” sounded like something from the Fat Wreck Chords catalog, but you know what? I let that slide.
Unfortunately, the band seems to have labeled themselves “aggressive pop-core,” and cites Jimmy Eat World as an influence, but that could just be the work of an evil public relations man. As a wise man once said, “let the music speak for itself,” and it does, and Starmarket come up with positive results from this critic. Yet another choice export from that land of vodka, black metal, and elves, Starmarket join the ranks of such diverse acts as Entombed, Eggstone, ABBA, and the Hellacopters, in proving that Scandinavia not only knows how to rock, but will do it with enough panache to kill a small elephant.