The Mopeds


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"Play Fast! File Under: Favourite" says the cover. Well enough put -- Fortissimo is a blast: a short, vital infusion of very likable garagey guitar pop delivered in 11 two- to three-minute bursts. It's the Mopeds' fourth long-player, but it plays with the scrappy vibrancy of a debut, and even if a few cuts veer into merely passable, rather undistinguished rock territory (including the sadly well-named opener, "Extremely Ordinary"), there's enough pop goodness around the corner to make it worth waiting around -- such as "Refused Demoland," a zippy corker about music business failure with an infectiously harmonized chorus; "Loverman," with its snazzy, quasi-rockabilly retro bounce; and "Steal a Girl," a sort of pocket melodrama with beatbox drumming and some more of those great harmonies. There's a high bit on the chorus to "Television Time" wherein Jens Lindgard's voice cracks in a manner distinctly reminiscent of Ben Folds -- an apt reference point for the Mopeds' blend of earnestness and slightly geeky goofiness. Add to that the good-natured guitar grit of (fellow) Swedish '90s rockers like Eggstone and the Wannadies, and you've got the basic concept. Fortissimo won't change your life, as they say, but it may well rev up your afternoon.

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