Terrible Feelings


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Much has been made of the juxtaposition of fun rock and hard doom in regards to Malmo, Sweden's Terrible Feelings. Their name alone conjures up cruel anxieties while still bouncing rhythmically off the tongue. But, gloom and pop have always been regular bedfellows. Why do the blues hurt so good? Why does any Motown song vault you from your chair to dance and/or weep? Why does Terrible Feelings singer Manuela Iwansson scream so sweetly? From the opening track on their full-length debut Shadows, the quartet present an appealing sort of power-punk-pop with a big goth darkness that is more exciting than it is gloomy. The songs are largely uptempo and riffy with attitude and vibe to spare, but it's Iwansson's huge voice that provides the album's biggest thrills. Her rich, throaty bellow is deeper than Patti Smith's or Chrissie Hynde's, but she attacks the songs with a similar sort of fearlessness. The warm melodiousness of her voice over the dark surf-punk guitar shredding sounds like an angry, young June Tabor fronting a Scandinavian Pixies. Shadows is full of big sounds and wild energies with soaring, melodic choruses like on the opener "Days to Come" and the standout "Darkness of Man." From stem to stern, the album rarely lets up with only the brief guitar interlude "Wicked Skull, Pt. 1" and the dirge-like closer "Rest in Peace" providing a break from the power pop onslaught. The group had released a handful of singles and an EP prior to Shadows, but this exciting debut LP presents a young band with a fully formed sound and a lot of confidence.

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