Scandinavian Indie - Scandinavian Demo / Tape Reviews [Q] [Demo/Tape Reviews][Scandinavian]

On these pages you can find exclusive reviews of Demos / Tapes. The reviews are written by the Scandinavian Indie "crew". If you are interested in having your Demo / Tape reviewed on these pages, please send it + information to Scandinavian Indie, Björnkärrsgatan 13 C:22, 584 36 Linköping, Sweden.

aBLe              - Prestigeless Lovesounds (1995)
Aquadays          - Ultramarine (1995)
Blake Carringtons - Eurocrat (1995)
                    Hitman (1996)
Blonk             - Senex Semper Diu Dormit (1995/1996)
Bob               - The Most Refreshing Satellite Headache From NASA (1996)
Cark              - Cark (1996)
Cessna            - Hobby-like (1995)
Fidget            - Semi-Naked (1996)
Lousy             - Snowracer (1994)
                    Las Palmas (1995)
                    Kurt Russell (1995)
                    Unofficial (1996)
Morgonen Därpå    - Livet, Kärleken (1995)
Rottingdean       - Rottingdean (1995)
                    Phaser (1996)
Sandy Lyle        - Wimbledon (1995)
                    Ginger (1996)
Shallow Soundwave - Shallow (1995)
Sodabuzz          - Demo #2 (1996)
                    Demo #3 (1996)
                    Wopper La Bas (1996)
Tongue Gongue     - Tongue Gongue (1996)

[aBLe Cover]

aBLe - "Prestigeless Lovesounds", August 1995, Time: 15.30

1. I Was So In Love (& I Don't Know Why) (3.46) 2. Mercy Beat (2.37) 3. Nightfishing (3.50) 4. ...& A Way To End This Life (5.08)
Scandinavian Indie Review: Apart from the basic electric guitars, drums and bass, it definitely takes more than ordinary courage to combine it all with a sometimes creamy, whining, sad, and sometimes screaming, nails-against-chalkboard, lap steel guitar, a clarinet and "oral percussion". It takes an experimental feeling that never recedes from its original thought. And that feeling is exactly what this Uppsala band supply. Beautiful segments with a sad clarinet are neatly tied together with distorted electric guitars and drums speeding down a highway. In "Mercy Beat", I find clear references to the false breaks that Mouth is known for, and in "...& A Way To End This Life", Johan Gille clearly shows that he is both a great singer (his voice somewhat similar to Popsicle-Andreas') and song-writer, "I can't see what we would be, without treachery and lies, all I think about is me, and a way to end this life." is not just direct, it is brilliant! It is probably a feeling most of us have felt at some point in our lives. His voice alone is strong and confident, but together with Lotta Nyblad, with her bright, light, voice, that sometimes reminds me of Jennie Medin from Cloudberry Jam, stretching the vocals, they hit the nail on its head (and you know how much I like male & female vocals together...) Though for the next time, I request more vocals from Johan. I usually select female vocals over male, but not this time. To round this up, I would say that the days when they were compared with Cardigans and Cloudberry Jam are over. Well almost. But for the better!

(March 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: aBLe, c/o Pimiento Rec., Väderkvarnsg. 8B, 753 29 Uppsala, SWEDEN

[Demo Tape]

Aquadays - "Ultramarine (8-Track Demo)", April 1995, Time: 28.00

1. Mother-Of-Pearl 2. Lachrymose 3. June 4. Autumn Swirl 5. Squealer 6. Gem 7. Lustre 8. Ocean Venus
Scandinavian Indie Review: Reading other reviews didn't leave me with any other alternative than to get a copy of the demo, and I'm glad I did. This is definitely the swedish Slowdive from Gothenburg that I've hoped to find ever since their sad break-up earlier this year. Swirling guitars, generous amounts of floating air, beautiful, light vocals (both male and female) together with drums that would be expected from an apprentice of Simon Scott. And even though the duet vocals sometimes gets a bit rough on the edges, I get that happy feeling in my stomach. "June" is a wonder with guitars that makes the hair in my neck rise, and I can't sit still to "Autumn Swirl", the vocals here are just in perfection and the guitars are amazing. These two songs would get them signed on the spot to my label. Unfortunately I don't have one.

(February 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Aquadays, Styrmansg. 4, 441 39 Alingsås, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

[Demo Tape]

Blake Carringtons - "Eurocrat", August 1995, Time: 11.00

1. Babyboy 2. Extraordinary 3. Princess Crown
Scandinavian Indie Review: I accidentally missed most of Uppsala-BC's live performance here in Linköping in January this year, and boy do I regret that I did! In "Extraordinary", I find distorted hollow guitar riffs, brought together with roaring and thunderous guitar-walls that makes way for Magnus Skarbo's voice, that I feel is best described as PiL mixed with Antony Kiedis. And strangely (?) enough, it sounds great! Single guitar riffs, crashing drums and bass lines are making webs throughout every song, creating a red thread, like glue, that makes it all work together. A turbo powered steam-roller, thundering down one of those american straight stretches in the desert; scary but at the same time devastatingly beautiful.

(March 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Magnus Skarbo, Väktaregatan 32D, 754 22 Uppsala, SWEDEN

[Blake Cover]

Blake Carringtons - "Hitman", February 1996, Time: 14.20

1. Sgt Pepper My Man 2. Powerbossa 3. Holy Progress 4. A Malething
Scandinavian Indie Review: Usually, the second demo from a band gives a better idea to what they really sound like. What they are looking for in their music, and what could be said to be "their sound". In the vocals-departement, the way is clear. Magnus Skarbo chose the path of Antony Kiedis. It is especially evident in "A Malething", where the whiney vocal-stretching is peaking. Even the music is somewhat close to Red Hot Chili Peppers, but not too close. And in "Powerbossa", I find the first and only cow bell break I have heard! The roaring guitar-walls are not gone, but they are scarce, and a lot lighter. The steam-roller has been traded for a Chevy. The single, even sometimes acoustic, guitar riffs are still there, though this time they are guided by the bass (Erik Arner), which has received more attention. Definitely an improvement; it provides a safe ground for the other instruments to stand on, and it is so good it is impossible not to tap your feet to.

(March 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Magnus Skarbo, Väktaregatan 32D, 754 22 Uppsala, SWEDEN

[Blonk Senex]

Blonk - "Senex Semper Diu Dormit", 1995/1996, Time: 25.23

1. Stupid People (3.40) 2. Tu Me Manques (4.31) 3. With Me (5.49) 4. Je Mors (2.41) 5. Babe (2.17) 6. Pretty? (3.15) 7. Komm Nicht Zu Mir (3.10)
Scandinavian Indie Review: After listening to this demo a lot, I must define the sound as upper class pop/rock. The reasons behind this definition lies in the fact that they mix lyrics in english, french and german. They mix the music styles of Sebadoh-punk, Mouth-false guitars with calmer sections and sometimes the vocals reminds me of Salt, especially in "Pretty?" when the vocals splits into two voices, but then again, like a friend so frankly put it, most of the time it sounds somewhat like a Cranberries-Dolores wannabe. What saves the vocals is a stereo delay in "Je Mors" which makes it sound really good. Love the drums in "Stupid People". Like the guitar section at the end of "Tu Me Manques" and the dynamite bulldozer guitars in "Komm Nicht Zu Mir", but the hit-track on the demo must be "With me". False Mouth riffs, vocals slightly disted with a calm, simple Mouth-like middle section that builds up to a vast and beautiful music landscape without disturbing vocals to the end. The whole demo leaves me with somewhat of a confused impression, but that is probably the thought behind it. I think.

(April 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Karolina, Sjömansg. 7, 413 15 Göteborg, SWEDEN

[Bob The Most Refreshing Satellite Headache From NASA]

Bob - "The Most Refreshing Satellite Headache From NASA", 1996, Time: 28.01

1. Slow Motion Day (Sombrero) (9.19) 2. Dragshow Artist View Of Life / Love (4.21) 3. Perfumed Christmas Cigars (5.26) 4. Coffee Ballerina (3.13) 5. Porcelina Soul (And The Daffodil Cried) (5.37)
Scandinavian Indie Review: This band with the cool name of Bob comes from Vimmerby, not far from here, and they have played together for about two years, which means they started pretty early considering their average age of 18-19. We have Johann (guitar & vocals), Wallman (bass), Lars (Guitar) and Carlos (drums).

This their third demo, starts, strangely enough, with a three minute instrumental session before the actual "song" part begins. Pretty interesting I thought when listening to it the first time, though pretty risky, considering most people in the music business listen to the first two-three minutes of a demo, and then turn it off. Anyway, this is perhaps a good "live session" starter to play before the band hits the stage, to continue with the non-instrumental part? Maybe a gimmick? Well, the second part brings thundering guitar-walls behind an ever present lonely electric guitar thread. Good vocals - always a plus, and a relief - a bit eerie, kind of Seattle-style in its calmer habitat.

With Dragshow Artist..., the Nirvana sound, musically, vocally and lyrically (!), comes to credit. Musically due to the way the song is built up, slow and calm intro moving towards the heavy guitar artillery and chorus. Nirvana's 'Rape Me' comes to mind, for example. Vocally because of the long, dragged-out vowels. Low, blurry Cobain-like vocals. And lyrically it is pretty close to, just 'Rape Me' - "Fuck Me, My friend. Blow Me, Again" is just one example. It is built up like the previous song, second part, but it is way more thought through, and my second favourite on the demo.

Perfumed Christmas Cigars brings a beautiful single-string electric guitar, bass and drums in break beat rhythm which push deep, low, silent and addictive vocals right where they belong. It is an extremely beautiful, easy, tapping-my-feet breeze in fact, which goes into guitar-wall heaven with a twist, quirk, break, call it what you want, but it is utterly gorgeous. Even if they had left out the guitar-wall parts, everything would still be perfect, fantastic! Good lord, this is good! My absolute favourite on the demo!

Coffee Ballerina is actually pretty uninteresting, considering the three previous songs. Slow, simple parts going to guitar-walls and back, like before, but here without any point that I can find. Maybe it is the wah-wah guitar, maybe it is the whiney guitar. Maybe it is the strange lyrics which says "slow-motion time, slow-motion day" - something I expected to find in the first song on the demo, "Slow Motion Day", but it makes no sense here.

Then, to my surprise, I find Porcelina Soul with two acoustic guitars accompanying Johann's story which he sings in a low, soft and sad voice. And then, suddenly, female vocals are added to the male - and what a perfect combination! Yummy! Two beautiful, male and female, voices singing "Hold me again, hold me my friend" and I recognize the girl's voice! But she is not credited anywhere, not on the tape and not in the information sent with it. A very beautiful and perfect end to the demo I must say. As I have already picked out the first two favourites, this one would be the third, though in the soft and beautiful music genre, this one is definitely first.

(January 1997 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Johann Krantz, Kastanjegatan 7, 598 36 Vimmerby, SWEDEN

[Cark Cover]

Cark - "Cark", ? 1996, Time: 18.10

1. Ghostpain 2. Adventure 3. Changed 4. Train
Scandinavian Indie Review: The first thing I did when I learned about this band from Gothenburg, was to go to their homepage and download a sound sample. But I was disappointed. Disappointed because all I got was a lot of twanging noise and it sounded like everything had a dist-box connected to it. Then I received this demo, and to my surprise, that was the way it was supposed to sound! Almost. It is the pieces between walls of noise, where Helene sings, that I like. Even though there really is a bit of distortion on her voice there sometimes, it is nothing compared to when the guitars, also distorted, break loose. She has got a pretty voice, why put dist on it? Talking about her voice, I would draw parrallells to Cecilia in Souls and a bit of Karin in Honey Is Cool, and that is enough to make me want to hear more. I would call the music experimental, not quite with a clear direction or background, and I think that is what they need to find, and define. I know it is there somewhere, because sometimes everything falls into place, and it sounds really great. Like the long instrumental end of "Train".

(March 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Jacob Wenzer, Nordenskiöldsgatan 18, 413 09 Göteborg, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

[Cessna Hobby]

Cessna - "Hobby-like", September 1995, Time: 19.20

1. Utterly Alone 2. Cardamon Kiss 3. Reconcile 4. My Blue Angila 5. Oh Grey 6. This Will End In Tears 7. Non-Stop
Scandinavian Indie Review: Sometimes swirly and sometimes rougher guitars with whispering, floating Shoegazer vocals together with a Hammond always made me happy, wherever it comes from. In this case: Finland. Two male, stable and good voices really works wonders, and with clear influences from The Bear Quartet, Ride, Popsicle and before they even had heard them, The Cardigans, it's pretty impossible not to like Cessna. This demo is a gem. I'd send a copy to A West Side Fabrication if I were them, even only if just to see what kind of reply one would get.

(February 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Email:
Check out their Homepage too!
And you'll find the Long Review here.

[Demo Tape]

Fidget - "Semi-Naked", March 1996, Time: 11.15

1. Semi-Naked 2. Stop Losing 3. Hoovering Away 4. Teddy
Scandinavian Indie Review: It is really hard not to write a good review to this demo. It would be better to just surrender and say that it is utterly fantastic, and that it is no wonder that seven or eight record labels called them up the same day they received it in the mail. Nina Natri's voice is so appealing, special and beautiful. Sometimes in what could be described as a finnish accent. Climbing high mountains, just to fall down into a crack the next second. It sounds so honest, and it is so honest. I can not think of anyone that would not fall in love with it. And the music. What can really be said about drifting, slow, effect-boxed electric guitars that just goes on forever and ever, and then they turn into alarming, screaming walls of sturdy concrete when you think you are safe? And what can you say about "Stop Losing" that starts like a "Svensktoppen" song, but evolves into a nasty guitar-filled monster, just like the one you always thought was hiding under your bed? It even ends with Nina purring like a cat! And when I hear a few lines to "Hoovering Away", everything is totally clear to me; "I am hoovering you away 'cos, I can't stand you around me no more. I am hoovering you away 'cos, frankly I don't know if I should give a damn anymore." Fidget will hoover away! Everything and everyone in their way when they conquer the world. On their way up in the sky of successful bands. And for me it is too soon! Though I hope they will stay in touch with us down here.

(March 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)

[Demo Tape]

Lousy - "the Snowracer demo", July 1994, WSMR 003, Time: 16.00

1. Snowracer (3.00) 2. A Lousy Song (1.54) 3. Phil Mahre (1.53) 4. Artificial Turf (1.07) 5. Saphead (1.56) 6. Uncool (6.19)
Scandinavian Indie Review: Lousy from Tenhult outside Jönköping presents their first demo. And it made me realize that they really started off influeced by the punk era, or should I say lo-fi? Using a naked, straight-forward piano, funk, ompelling rhythms, a lonely guitar and vocals that makes me think of Billy Corgan in the slower parts and screams, alarming wall-to-wall guitars and drums in the faster, I can't help loving this. Backing vocals with the openhearted way Mats Ohlander sings in the last song "Uncool" makes it a definite favourite of mine.

(February 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Lousy, Box 137, 560 27 Tenhult, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

[Demo Tape]

Lousy - "the Las Palmas demo", January 1995, WSMR 004, Time: 16.00

1. Gocart 2. Binkley 3. Electric Boogie 4. Midiot 5. Larry 6. Hamster 7. Yogurt 8. Stupid
Scandinavian Indie Review: The guitars in most songs on this demo are pretty amazing. Fast, tough and wall-making. All the things I like :-). "Electric Boogie" starts off in a quiet, slow and beautiful way. The vocals are in perfection. Then it floods out into a punk-ish frenzy with frenetic drums, guitars and screaming vocals. "Midiot" is somewhat the other way around, and in that, my personal favourite. "Hamster" moves from slow to fast and back to slow again, with the best guitar-thread I've heard in a long while. These guys have great talent. I trust that's enough to get them signed.

(February 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Lousy, Box 137, 560 27 Tenhult, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

[Lousy Kurt]

Lousy - "the Kurt Russell demo", June 1995, WSMR 005, Time: 13.00

1. Ouch! (1.46) 2. Heavy Metal (2.45) 3. Igloo (1.29) 4. Navel (4.12) 5. Bonus (1.59)
Scandinavian Indie Review: I was driving to Jönköping to visit my girlfriend when I first listened to this demo. Coincidence? I think not. This is brilliant, great to listen to while driving and even if youīre not driving, it's still great to listen to. The first song, "Ouch!" made me think of Loosegoats with a synthesizer. When I reached "Igloo" my mind said Mouth with a synthesizer. And when the demo faded out of my speakers I thought: a mix between Loosegoats and Mouth with a synthesizer. These guitars, the bass and drums are really good for my ears, and thereīs a touch of Janne Kask (Brainpool) in Mats Ohlander's voice, which canīt be bad. That leaves me with the synthesizer, which I feel should be left out in order to get Lousy signed right away. Maybe itīs just the whining sound or maybe itīs just me, but a song like "Navel" would be filed under fantastic! instead of good! in my head without it, and "Bonus" which is filed under fantastic! in my head, is untouched by the synthesizer.

(February 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Lousy, Box 137, 560 27 Tenhult, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

Lousy - "the Unofficial demo", March 1996, WSMR 006, Time: 22.10

[Lousy Unofficial] 1. Canada (2.39) 2. Okay (0.51) 3. Heavy Metal (2.30) 4. Overkill (1.41) 5. Kewl (1.53) 6. Teentime (1.45) 7. Snazzy (1.15) 8. Downer (2.27) 9. Blunt (1.53) 10. Ouch! (1.40) 11. About You (1.12) 12. Bug (2.24)
Scandinavian Indie Review: It only gets better and better! On this demo, I find no less than five songs that are absolute hits! "Heavy Metal" is of course their hit from the past, and that is pretty easy to understand. One can hear that it has been worked through thoroughly, and it sprawls out in different directions, from slow beats to fast skatepop, from slow, light vocals to fast and hitting. "Kewl" is a really good song. Loads of guitar-walls, great vocals and nice drums (especially in the slower sections), and great lyrics, but did they add that long whiney synthesizer sound at the end just to annoy me?! "Downer" is another hit! Extremely beautiful, dreamy, echoing and tingling synthesizer (!) sounds in the middle of the usual fast, guitar-smashing Lousy-sound. "About You" is a cover of Eric's Trip's song with the same name (of course), which, if you listen to the original, has received just the right Lousy-treatment. I like this version better than the original! Finally, "Bug". Psychedelic dream-vocals together with a single guitar. Muffled, simple, but beautiful! This is shoegazer-lo-fi! Other songs I would like to mention is "Snazzy" that comes with party-background, cool vocals, one-guitar riffs and a swooshing drum sound that ends mysteriously with something that sounds like a radio. "Teentime" and "Okay" are both somewhat in the spirit of Mouth. I still have a hard time accepting the whiney Lousy synth, but I probably will like it one day. Other than that, it sure is time for someone to discover this band and sign them.

(April 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Lousy, Box 137, 560 27 Tenhult, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

[Morgonen Cover]

Morgonen Därpå - "Livet, Kärleken", ? 1995, Time: 10.15

1. Jag Är Mint 2. Med Nattbussen Hem
Scandinavian Indie Review: I got this demo a long time ago, and never found the time to review it. But better late than never, right? Right! Here we have swedish music with swedish lyrics. Swedish music because it is so close to the music created by godfather Mauro Scocco, both in the old Ratata days and the new solo days. Everything is made with synthesizers, and it is clearly easy-listening pop that one expects to hear on swedish national radio P3 on a rainy sunday morning. Even the vocals are close to Mauro. But I feel I have to get Adolphson & Falk in here somewhere too, because everything gives me that Stockholm-feeling in my gut, just like they did once. I must say that this is beautiful music, even though it is very different from everything else (yet) reviewed on this page.

(March 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Billy Lundgren, Nioörtsvägen 40, 126 32 Hägersten, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!


Rottingdean - "Rottingdean", April 1995, Time: 15.25

1. Swell (3.14) 2. So Suddenly (Went Away) (3.52) 3. Less Too Soon (3.42) 4. Pleased To Be Eased (4.37)
Scandinavian Indie Review: I do not care much for britpop, which makes it kind of hard to give this demo a good review. All the songs here are in some way linked to that type of music. "Swell" is a perfect example with Morrissey-like vocals. That is also the case with "So Suddenly", but here the music builds up slowly through echo-effects that soon evolves into beautiful, simple and jazzy pop which in turn changes into a noisy and early Boo Radleys euphoria at the end. "Less Too Soon" is probably a mix of Gene, Blur, Pulp and Smiths in some way. Gorgeous guitars in any case. "Pleased To Be Eased" starts off in a lo-fi way that plunges into a Boo Radleys-esque easy breeze with muffled vocals, only to move into a noisy mixture with background vocals in the "Aaah Aaah" class, that I find difficult to cope with. I actually do not own one single record with any of the britpop bands, but I do like early Boo Radleys (that is before 1993) and for that, Rottingdean scores a point.

(April 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Rottingdean, c/o Saarnak, Spolegatan 24, 222 20 Lund, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

[Rottingdean Phaser]

Rottingdean - "Phaser", 1996, Time: 10.48

1. Glorious Gardens (5.14) 2. Excuse That Boy (5.34)
Scandinavian Indie Review: Well! Things have indeed changed since their last demo. "Glorious Gardens" is a wonder beyond belief! Beautiful, light, floating and swirling male vocals together with a simple guitar, drums and a bass steps into the world of guitar-walls in the ultimate shoegazer school. (I really gaze at my shoes to this one!) And everything debouch into an ordered chaos of sounds with a talking voice, alarming guitars and horrendous noise, and it still sounds very well produced. But when we step into the room of "Excuse That Boy" we're talking of a completely different sound. Here, we are partly back to the previous demo. A slow pace, a bit of Antony Kiedis but without the heavy weight behind the voice, a bit of Morrissey with a long swinging middle section. But, if Rottingdean continues to create wonderpieces like "Glorious Gardens", I can promise that they will indeed find themselves with a record contract. It is a song made out of gold, and right up my alley with a fragrance of guitar-walls, of floating and hovering songs.

(April 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Rottingdean, c/o Saarnak, Spolegatan 24, 222 20 Lund, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

[Sandy Lyle Wimbledon]

Sandy Lyle - "Wimbledon", 1995, Time: 07.29

1. Cornflakes (2.43) 2. Mr. Anderson (2.32) 3. Postman (2.14)
Scandinavian Indie Review: I had not heard anything about this band before, so it was a completely new acquaintance. Wimbledon is their first demo and when you compare it to their second one, Ginger (that came on the same tape - see review below), you could tell. The recording is a bit too sharp, too much treble and not enough bass.

Moving from the recording quality to the songs themselves, I have to say that I love both Cornflakes and Mr. Anderson, but I have a hard time with Postman. Why? Well, Cornflakes starts out with a beautiful wall of noise. The electric guitars just melt down my brain and make me think of Lush in the "Spooky" era or perhaps early Breeders, and what's even better, this wall comes back again and again throughout the song, together with even more beautiful "La La Laaaa" duet-vocals from Anna Graan and one (?) of the male members of the band (though it does not say anywhere who it is! Tell me!). The pieces between the walls are a bit thin, but I'd say that it is because of the recording.

Mr. Anderson must have the most addictive drum beat I have heard - I can not help tapping my feet to it! It has got that live sound that I am in love with. And the slight stereo-delay on Anna's voice works wonders! Her voice follows the sharp, yet sometimes fuzzy, electric guitar threads. "Mr. Anderson, he lives by himself, when people asked about his loneliness he laughs, and says hmm, I like it pretty good." Definitely my favorite on this demo!

Postman does have those Lush guitars (I'm sorry, but I can't remember what they're called - steel stringed?) and a drum beat that works together with them, but it sounds like the vocals have been recorded in somewhat of a hasty manner, and with that, without feeling. Something both previous songs have a lot of, which makes them sound like they were made with joy. Not so here. Even though there is plenty of male-female duet-vocals, it is out of time sometimes, and perhaps it is because they have so much to say?

Anyway, the first two songs bring this demo to my top five, though I would love to hear these songs re-recorded with more bass, or live, so tell me when and where they are playing next, and I'll be there!

(June 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Rami Nihlawi
Check out their Homepage too!

[Sandy Lyle Ginger]

Sandy Lyle - "Ginger", 1996, Time: 11.21

1. Lovely (4.11) 2. Waking Up Alone (2.45) 3. Dirge (4.25)
Scandinavian Indie Review: The latest demo from Sandy Lyle reveals a couple of changes. Starting with the sound quality - it is much better! Which of course makes me extremely happy because it is not sharp at all, only very soft and pleasant to listen to. Another thing that strikes me immediately when listening to the first song, Lovely, is that the bass (Rami Nihlawi) has received much more attention. The bass line is the red thread in this song, and I am not sure if I even heard the bass on their previous demo! I also hear something I believe to be a synthesizer here, though no one is credited for playing one.

Anna Graan's voice on this demo is a treat - I believe the band noticed that the slight vocal stereo-delay on the previous demo was a great idea, because it is used on all the tracks on this demo. Together with the improvement in sound quality, Anna's voice sounds great. I am not sure how to put it, but it sounds a bit naive, and it is probably that that makes it simply gorgeous. She steals my heart during the chorus in Lovely, where her voice is a bit rasping, which makes it so attractive. On the down side though, the electric guitars does not have the Lush sound anymore. In fact, they have been put in a corner with the volume turned down to a minimum. I can only hear them in the background during the song.

The same goes for Waking Up Alone. Instead, the wah-wah and acoustic guitars together with a piano steals the show. The male-female duet vocals during the chorus are okay, though nothing special. This makes me sad, because I normally love male-female duet vocals. And the end, where the song fades out in an evergrowing room with echoes, does not say anything to me.

Dirge starts off sounding like Oasis(!) with an acoustic and a lonely electric guitar, but when Anna's voice fills the room, the Sandy Lyle sound is back, and better than ever. This is a great song! My confidence in the band is back! The male-female duet vocals during the choruses are fantastic, both using their voices to really tell the story. The male vocals are confident and strong, yet soft together with the female. It just sounds really really good. The electric guitar has been moved from the corner, the volume turned up, and together with the acoustic guitar, it all sounds perfect. Even professional. "And in the middle of the darkest night, you can hear her lonely tears, falling like stones to the ground, and suddenly disappear." I'm not sure about the long "La la la"'s though... But. This one can definitely be a radio hit, and it is my favorite song on this demo.

Overall, I have to say that I was a bit nervous after the first two songs, but then came Dirge and really made my day. If I may be so bold to suggest something, it would be to continue to use the vocal stereo-delay, bring forward the electric guitars again, and with them, some of those walls of noise. And hold on tight to Anna! Her voice sometimes reminds me of Cranberries-Dolores and sometimes of Sinead O'Connor, and together with (whoever of the guys it is who is singing) that male voice, it sounds really good, especially in Dirge!

(June 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Rami Nihlawi
Check out their Homepage too!

[Shallow Shallow]

Shallow Soundwave - "Shallow", November 1995, Time: 16.25

1. Soave 2. Close Your Eyes 3. The Twin Of Theirs 4. Hyper
Scandinavian Indie Review: Shallow Soundwave from Gothenburg is fantastic! Out of four songs, I love three, which will settle in my tape deck, and stay there for a long time. I can't really grasp that they are not signed to a label. And what about their background? This is clearly the work of people with previous experience, yet I don't recognize their names. (Though in the picture they sent with the tape, David reminds me of Trent Reznor (!) :-)). With (it appears to me) references from Lush, Slowdive, U2 and Cocteau Twins, they just can't go wrong. Beautiful vocals, fantastic effect-filled guitar-walls, drums I once wished I could play and a bass that matches everything. Remember where you heard it first. :-)

(February 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: David Sundqvist, Vänortsg. 8, 431 60 Mölndal, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage and read the long review too!

[Sodabuzz #2]

Sodabuzz - "Demo #2", January 1996, Time: 12.00

1. Ginger 400 (2.06) 2. Outdated (3.01) 3. Sunday (4.20) 4. Tv-Song (2.33)
Scandinavian Indie Review: Gulp! Gorgeous noisy guitar-walls in a fast pace together with extremely confident vocals that are amazingly similar to Rob Dickinson's of Catherine Wheel. Yummy! Bob Mould in a space-suit! Lots of guitars, nice effect-boxed vocals and a sturdy tempo. That is all I can say about "Ginger 400". Beautiful! Great vocals, guitars following in the footsteps of Smashing Pumpkins and a fast beat with cool pauses and breaks. That is what I get out of "Outdated". Slower parts with somewhat sad vocals can be found in "Sunday", but don't be fooled! Soon enough it changes into noisy guitar walls with angry vocals, kind of like a reply to the sad ones. A captivating song. Can it get better than this? "Tv-Song" is filled with Smashing Pumpkins walls together with vocals so good it scares me! And that crumbling snare that builds up from a thin bass-line/drum-part is fantastic! One would say that all of this amounts to something like Catherine Wheel in a higher gear.

(April 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Petter Baggeryd, Ribbingsgatan 2, 416 52 Göteborg, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

[Sodabuzz #3]

Sodabuzz - "Demo #3", April 1996, Time: 12.20

1. Fruitless Bigamies (3.35) 2. Anxiety Closet (3.32) 3. Paperdolls (2.44) 4. Move You (2.29)
Scandinavian Indie Review: I'm puzzled. Their third demo does absolutely not sound like the second one. It is a mile away from that sound. An example would be "Move You" that is pure britpop, like Blur, Pulp or something, even though I like the guitars, it is nothing like the Sodabuzz I used to know. "Paperdolls" goes in a completely different direction. Fast guitar-pop with way disted vocals gives me somewhat of an experimental feeling about it all. All in all, the demo sounds a bit like Monostar used to sound when they played live and was called Midnight Moses. That is to say that a common ground to stand on is missing. A very strange development indeed, from demo #2 that was recorded only three months earlier. Go back!

(April 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Petter Baggeryd, Ribbingsgatan 2, 416 52 Göteborg, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

[Sodabuzz #4]

Sodabuzz - "Wopper La Bas", September 6th, 1996, Time: 19.45

1. Anxiety Closet (3.25) 2. Race Track (4.10) 3. Dissolving (4.40) 4. Too Slow (3.52) 5. Not Ok (3.22)
Scandinavian Indie Review: Listening to Sodabuzz's fourth demo, sound quality not as crisp and clear as on their earlier demos (??), I realise that what we have here is actually Sweden's own Catherine Wheel. I know I have mentioned it before, but they are really getting closer and closer to the CW sound, vocally and musically. Vocally, it's almost scary how close to Rob Dickinson the singer is! Very, no, extremely nice. Whatever song, the vocals are fantastic! Musically it is like CW's harder, electric guitar filled songs, the harder and heavier, the slower and pounding ones. To try out how close to CW they really are, I actually played one song from the demo, then switched to a CW song from their album "Happy Days" without my "test person" noticing. I had to explain that it really was not still Sodabuzz! That is how close they are! The first song, "Anxiety Closet" is a re-recording of the same song on their last demo. This version is a lot slower, and with a lot more thundering guitars. The vocals have been put in the background, where on the previous demo, they were right in front of everything else. I am not sure whether this is a good thing or not, but it sounds okay. "Race Track" and "Dissolving" are my two favourite songs (I can't decide on one of them). Both have the most tight sound on the demo. "Race Track" with its alarming guitars, foot-tapping addictive drums and bass leading the way into these alarming guitar-walls. "Dissolving" also with these alarming guitars but also with single guitar riffs, the red thread that brings the whole song into the roaring electric guitar-filled chorus-parts. It is simply beautiful to listen to how well everything works together. "Too Slow" is, strangely enough, the song that has got the most speed of them all. It has got some punk-ish guitars and bass, actually pretty similar to Candysuck's "Kill Your Boyfriend", but here they have been powerpopped, turned into walls of pleasant noise. The peak is reached when the song builds up from the middle section into more and more noise, drums almost exploding, pulsating guitars together with the bass having one joint single purpose: to go faster. Perhaps I have found one reason behind the name? "Not Ok" is a good song to end the demo with. It has got that "end of the demo" feeling over it somehow. And here it is clear to me that the guitars, well, the music in fact, has received the most attention on this demo. The vocals are still somewhat in the background, at least compared to their last demo. The echo, or large room, effect on the vocals here, works, creating a genuine feeling behind the lyrics, especially the crying "why me?"'s. I was told that they had not listened to Catherine Wheel for quite some time, so maybe it is time to pick up "Happy Days", or better yet, don't! No one knows what that would cause! I for one love to have a swedish Catherine Wheel, and that is Sodabuzz. Now please let the guys move into a studio for a couple of weeks, and give them a chance to put these songs on a CD! This is just too good to be forgotten!

(September 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Erik Gundewall, Skeppsbron 3, 411 21 Göteborg, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

[Tongue Cover]

Tongue Gongue - "Tongue Gongue", ? 1996, Time: 11.30

1. Shut Up Train (Shut Up) 2. Great Women 3. Give It 2 Me
Scandinavian Indie Review: Uppsala shows itself to be a town to be reckoned with. When I got the cassette, I had only heard rumours about Tongue Gongue. The rumours said that they were a killer live band, and that they played Ska. Today, I can only say that the second rumour is true. In May, when they play in Linköping, I will know the rest. Unfortunately my Ska-knowledge is pretty limited, but I do know that this is Ska. Happy Ska infact. Quick, whiney vocals that are clear and crisp. Professional even. A fast beat, with everything to give one that carnival feeling, you know? It sways. It makes you smile. It makes you wonder if it is already summer outside if you open the blinds - two months early? It all sounds so professional that I have to agree with the other ones who have reviewed this demo; where is the record contract?

(March 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Daniel Tofters, Väderkvarnsg. 32A, 753 29 Uppsala, SWEDEN
Check out their Homepage too!

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Last updated Feb 24, 1998 by Erik Söderström
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