John Bergstrom

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.
The Church’s Companion Album to ‘The Hypnogogue’ Is Superb

The Church’s Companion Album to ‘The Hypnogogue’ Is Superb

The Church’s “companion piece” to The Hypnogogue is just as good. It didn’t take long for the veteran Aussie psych-rockers to break in their new lineup.

Moving Away From the Pulsebeat: Post-Punk Britain 1977-1981

Moving Away From the Pulsebeat: Post-Punk Britain 1977-1981

This gargantuan post-punk collection has legends like Joy Division and the Cure, but it’s the lesser-knowns who provide the many unexpected thrills.

Real Estate Go Back to Basics on ‘Daniel’

Real Estate Go Back to Basics on ‘Daniel’

Daniel‘s “brand-new old-fashioned” version of Real Estate is totally workable but is also a reminder that the old-fashioned stuff was better.

The Vaccines Get Back to Basics on ‘Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations’

The Vaccines Get Back to Basics on ‘Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations’

The Vaccines’ new LP is a proverbial back-to-basics affair that’s all the better for it. Packed with ten punchy hook-laden songs, it’s a great-sounding record.

We Can Work It Out: Covering the Beatles’ 1962-1966 Period

We Can Work It Out: Covering the Beatles’ 1962-1966 Period

What’s remarkable about We Can Work It Out is how it emphasizes the Beatles’ foundation-shaking effect on culture that occurred almost from the beginning.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s ‘Bauhaus Staircase’ Shines

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s ‘Bauhaus Staircase’ Shines

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark have honed their craft at creating towering, majestic synthscapes with bold analog melodies and shimmering sci-fi flourishes.

Slow Pulp’s ‘Yard’ Is Full of 1990’s Style Alt-Rock

Slow Pulp’s ‘Yard’ Is Full of 1990’s Style Alt-Rock

Chicago-based Slow Pulp offer more 1990s-inspired indie rock on their sophomore album. Have they taken a step forward and did they even need to?

Modern Nature’s ‘No Fixed Point in Space’ Doesn’t Achieve Lift-Off

Modern Nature’s ‘No Fixed Point in Space’ Doesn’t Achieve Lift-Off

When it comes to the late Mark Hollis’ seminal work, Modern Nature’s No Fixed Point in Space crosses the line between inspired tribute and pale imitation.

The Spinners’ Atlantic Singles Were Their Peak

The Spinners’ Atlantic Singles Were Their Peak

Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees the Spinners made some great Philly-style soul with producer Thom Bell but are still defined by a single song.

Nation of Language Revel in Classic Synthpop on ‘Strange Disciple’

Nation of Language Revel in Classic Synthpop on ‘Strange Disciple’

Strange Disciple finds Nation of Language’s devotion to their synthpop craft and the acts that inspired them admirably intact, even dogged.

‘Come Together: Adventures on the Indie Dancefloor 1989-1992’ Celebrates Madchester

‘Come Together: Adventures on the Indie Dancefloor 1989-1992’ Celebrates Madchester

Full of gems from the Happy Mondays, the Charlatans, the Stone Roses, and many lesser-known acts, this massive Madchester retrospective leaves surprisingly few holes.

Lanterns on the Lake Explore New ‘Versions of Us’

Lanterns on the Lake Explore New ‘Versions of Us’

Atmospheric British dream poppers Lanterns on the Lake gain accessibility without sacrificing their signature complexity on Versions of Us.