No Cure for Swedish rockers Shout Out Louds

Glenn Gamboa
Newsday (MCT)

The Shout Out Louds' Ted Malmros says the American stereotype of Swedish rockers is pretty accurate.

"Pretty silent, serious - maybe the blond girl thing is a bit overrated, but the stereotype is pretty much right," said the Swedish band's bassist, calling from a tour stop in Chicago. "The only thing wrong is when they think we're Swiss. That's very different."

The stereotype that's being pushed on the band's new album "Our Ill Wills" (Merge), though, is a bit more off target, Malmros said. "I like The Cure," he said, with a laugh, "but I don't hear it in our music."

"It's the same genre, sure, but the drums are very different and Adam (Olenius, the band's singer) doesn't have a British accent," he continued. "It's OK. We really don't care. We do like The Cure. I think it just shows how so much of criticism - especially with the blogs - comes from people just reading each other."

What The Shout Out Louds would rather focus on is how "Our Ill Wills" sounds bigger and more ambitious than their straightforward, guitar-driven debut "Howl Howl Gaff Gaff" (Capitol). "The first album, we really didn't know much about recording at all, so we basically recorded what it sounded like in the rehearsal studio," Malmros said. "And we wanted to get that `debut album' vibe."

On "Our Ill Wills," the band wanted more, enlisting Bjorn Yttling, of another indie-rock Swedish sensation Peter, Bjorn and John, to produce the album in Stockholm. (The cooperation goes both ways, as Malmros directed the video for the band's breakout hit "Young Folks.")

"This time we wanted to try lots of new things and be a bit more experimental," Malmros said. "We're a band that enjoys changes. We didn't want to do the same album twice. We were going for something we had never done before."

The result is an album that moves from the pretty pop of "Suit Yourself" to the seven-minute-plus, guitar-distortion epic "Hard Rain" and back again. The first single "Tonight I Have to Leave It" is a swirl of giddiness - with playful percussion, joyous jangling guitars and a sense of innocence - but there's also the mournful "Meat Is Murder."

Even though the album has long been completed, the band - Malmros, singer Olenius, guitarist Carl von Arbin, keyboardist Bebban Stenborg and drummer Eric Edman - is still working on the songs. "We like to change the songs live," said Malmros, adding that the current American tour has gone well despite some problems with the tour bus. "In the studio, you get to keep adding, but on stage, you're limited to just five people so we have to focus on the five most important things. We end up discovering new things because of it."




Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.


Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.


Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.


Alastair Sim: A Very English Character Actor Genius

Alastair Sim belongs to those character actors sometimes accused of "hamming it up" because they work at such a high level of internal and external technique that they can't help standing out.


Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's New LP Is Lacking in Songcraft but Rich in Texture

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's The Mosaic of Transformation is a slightly uneven listen. It generally transcends the tropes of its genre, but occasionally substitutes substance for style.


Buzzcocks' 1996 Album 'All Set' Sees the Veteran Band Stretching Out and Gaining Confidence

After the straightforward and workmanlike Trade Test Transmissions, Buzzcocks continued to hone their fresh identity in the studio, as exhibited on the All Set reissue contained on the new box-set Sell You Everything.


Patrick Madden's 'Disparates' Makes Sense in These Crazy Times

There's no social distancing with Patrick Madden's hilarious Disparates. While reading these essays, you'll feel like he's in the room with you.


Perfume Genius Purges Himself and It's Contagious

You need to care so much about your art to pack this much meaning into not only the words, but the tones that adorn and deliver them. Perfume Genius cares so much it hurts on Set My Heart on Fire Immediately.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Confinement and Escape: Emma Donoghue and E.L. Doctorow in Our Time of Self-Isolation

Emma Donoghue's Room and E.L. Doctorow's Homer & Langley define and confront life within limited space.


Political Cartoonist Art Young Was an Aficionado of all Things Infernal

Fantagraphics' new edition of Inferno takes Art Young's original Depression-era critique to the Trump White House -- and then drags it all to Hell.


Folk's Jason Wilber Examines the World Through a Futurist Lens in 'Time Traveler' (album stream)

John Prine's former guitarist and musical director, Jason Wilber steps out with a new album, Time Traveler, featuring irreverent, pensive, and worldly folk music.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.