Unless you live in a bunker built under the sea, or stopped listening to punk rock and decided to cover up all your Rancid tattoos, you must have heard about them and checked out their first self-titled album.
Six years have passed, but the Swedish quartet is finally back with their second full length record “Twopointeight II”. Tough job for them to do better, or at least as good as their hits “Red Eye”, “Lay Down On The Ground”, “One Foot In The Grave”?
You will be surprised…The record starts off with “Guds Hands”, track we already know from the 2010 self-titled single. A year after this song made its impact by staying number 1 on your ipod for weeks (months for the most devoted), you still relish listening to it as for the first time.
A super catchy guitar intro, intense vocals, and a chorus to die for that will be stuck in your head for so long that your only concern is : will my ears ever be satisfied again?
The answer is YES! “Rumors and Headlines” is next and, no, it is not a One Man Army cover, however remains a good punk rock song, switching singers (both guitar players sing in turns) and adding the organ (ubiquitous on several songs of the first album).
Follow “Breaking and entering” and “No Theme”, rawer and faster, with perfect tempo changes, beyond any doubt a positively surprising track.
“Bury The Hatchet”, one of the songs the band used as teaser for the album, is certainly not the best part, though its chorus does not disappoint.
“Detach!” offers you a painful kick in the face, with vocals that could break your heart in two and guitar riffs straight from the grave, reminding you that Twopointeight has its own distinctive sound and is far from being the average punk rock band.
We continue with “Your Guns” and “Telepromt Solanas”, tune that makes you feel nostalgic but not for too long… You better catch your breath because what’s coming after will leave you astounding. Well, that’s the effect it had on me. “Million Dollar Wager” is easily the highlight of this record, showing off that their resources are unlimited. This melody is made to stay in your head and haunt you deliciously long after the song runs off.
Press the play button again. And again.
“Resident Hack” and “Watered Down” are -dare I say- typically Twopointeight-ish, heady melodies in a very unique and subtle atmosphere, poignant singing and a tight rhythm section.
Sadly this record has an end, and it’s the beautiful “Dreampusher” featuring female vocals (Simone Ljungberg) that closes the chapter with what sounds just like a touching goodbye hymn.
Comparing Twopointeight to other bands is, I believe, a big mistake, since they are likely to be the band with the strongest personality and the most unique sound I got to hear in a very long time.