Wave Another Day Goodbye

Hidden Agenda

A very superficial glance at Sweden’s music scene would produce a division into two camps: abrasive garage rock from the city and pastoral indie pop. Chances are, if you’ve heard one band from Sweden it’s the Hives, a band at the forefront of the current garage rock revival. Getting virtually no press outside of their country, you can almost picture indie pop bands like Ronderlin sitting on some desolate, pre-spring hillside watching as the last of their countryside girlfriends pack up their cars to join the ever expanding garage party and wondering when their time will come. It’s a shame, because while Ronderlin is just as lacking in originality as their urban countrymen, they are just as adept at appropriating from their favorite sources. The requisite chiming Byrds-ian guitar is there, as is the understated Hammond organ. Their crowning achievement in this traditional vein is the Belle & Sebastian-perfect “Reflected.”

Thankfully, Ronderlin are able to draw from influences beyond the standard roster of limp-wristed all-stars. “Time For Farming Soon” takes the Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and strangles it with pastel turtlenecks, turning it into the closest approximation to “progressive twee” I’ve ever heard. Surprisingly, it holds up fairly well. “Black Eyebrows” begins with an organ lifted directly from The Cure’s “Untitled” before acquiescing to the call of windswept beach pop. Quite a few of the album’s tracks bear gothic undertones of an atmospheric-less Cure, musically and lyrically. Being Swedish and apolitical, the lyrics are appropriately simple. I’m not joking when I say that all the songs on this album deal with springtime, abandonment, day turning to night and waving goodbye. It’s not too deep, but it’s an almost ideal soundtrack to being brokenhearted and alone on a hillside high above the rocking garages of the city.

Parasol Records:

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