[19 August 2002]
Sometimes, you just can’t go home. Or perhaps, to put it more accurately, you shouldn’t go home. Johan Angergard formed the supremely mismonikered Acid House Kings 10 years ago with brother Niklas (singer Julia Lannerheim joined the fold a couple years later), which in turn spawned an incestuous slew of like-minded folk pop bands. Mondays Are Like Tuesdays and Tuesdays Are Like Wednesdays, the first album from the Acid House Kings since 2000’s The Sound of Summer, is like super-lightweight Belle & Sebastian without the tunes, wit, or invention. Other songs recall a lost Frente! album, though is something truly lost if no one is looking for it?
To be fair, it’s not like Mondays Are Like Tuesdays and Tuesdays Are Like Wednesdays is a truly awful record. It’s just not particularly exciting which, it can be argued, is far worse. Better to try something truly ambitious and fail miserably than to not try at all. Perhaps Angergard simply views the reunion of Acid House Kings as a chance to get back to his roots, and that would be acceptable had he packed a good tune or two with him. Instead, it seems that he’s stockpiling his best work for his other projects, like Club 8.
“Saturday Morning” starts things off, and Lannerheim’s breezy vocal combined with the brush drumming recalls Belle & Sebastian’s “Is It Wicked Not to Care”, though in style more than in substance. “Start Anew” is even lighter, and made the guy in the cube next to me ask, “Is this a children’s song?” Therein lies the problem with Mondays Are Like Tuesdays and Tuesdays Are Like Wednesdays. It’s so, so lightweight, in every possible way, that even when they do write an interesting chord progression, it lands very softly, if at all, leaving the listener very little to remember minutes after the album is finished.
The most frustrating part of Mondays Are Like Tuesdays and Tuesdays Are Like Wednesdays is that Angergard has shown that he can do more than this. Club 8, his band with uberbabe Karolina Komstedt, covered all kinds of territory, with Hooverphonic-like surf ballads showing up next to songs that sounded like outtakes by French ambient wizards Air. None of that experimentation or variety is present here, and it is sorely missed.
Mondays Are Like Tuesdays and Tuesdays Are Like Wednesdays is the perfect thief, an album that comes, goes, doesn’t disturb anything and leaves no trace. The only problem with that, of course, is that albums shouldn’t be thieves. They should be hyperactive five-year-olds with a handful of Pixie sticks, turning every room they enter into a disaster area. Even for a genre like wistful folk pop, there is room for a ruckus. Angergard has shown he can make noise. There’s no reason for him to treat it like a dirty little secret now.