If like me you are already quaking at the thought of the next few months of music releases bearing a saturation of summer anthem overload, I might just have an alternative slice of anti-pop spiciness to throw into the ring with the issue of The Magnettes debut album “Ugly Youth”.
This Swedish band first peeped up on my radar with their defiantly assertive song “Killers In The Ghost Town”, leading me to quickly form the opinion that they should be looked upon as Icona Pop for the deep thinkers.
From the lesser known Pajala region of Sweden, the band view themselves as outsiders which is reflective in the on-the-cusp, bordering pop style of music they have opted to express themselves with throughout the duration of their debut album. An educated opinion can be formed about what goes on in this LP from the “Ugly Youth” album title alone. Songs based around growing up with a non-conformist attitude on-board and striving out on an empowering footing. Make no mistake about it, vocalists Sanna and Rebecka were always going to have their voices heard. They took the route of music to do this and with the assistance of producer/musician Tomas they have achieved a commendable collection of gutsy, forthright and plucky tracks which garner up, a bitter sweet platter of skewed pop flavours. A double dip of sour cherry and bitter orange springs to mind.
“Ugly Youth” isn’t without its finest moments, these being when the girls come into their own by adding lashings of acerbic vocals into the glitchy alt-pop mix. Top picks of mine go to “Sad Girls Club” and “Ugly” as they comfortably fit in during those times when you can’t face carrying a smile and just wanna scream as a release from torment. Not that these are particularly shouty songs, but the lyrics really do translate a rebellious demeanour and I guess we all live through days that are so fucked up, that rather than set sail on an ocean of tears a little shouty singing is the way through to the eventually, landing back on the brighter side of life. One more track I’d like to single out is “Bones” for nothing more than it’s shimmery dark pop qualities and being the poppiest track on the album.