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KVLR Review

by Stephen Cramer

Sweden's KVLR offer up a dizzying third album with this ten-track disc. With new bassist Joel Borg joining the ranks, the band found new inspiration. Johan Sellman remains on lead vocals and guitar, while drummer Magnus Öberg and guitarist Ludwig Franzen round out the quartet. The band's admitted influence by bands like Chavez, Swervedriver, and Sonic Youth shine through, as the foursome embrace dynamic guitar and feedback, showcasing an uncanny cohesiveness from beginning to end. Opening with the churning frenzy of "Last Rhyme," the band maintains a blistering pace through most of the disc. "Fed on the Hook" is, as advertised, full of the kind of addictive pop hooks that fed the indie rock scene in the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s. "Traitors and Thieves" combines the band's melodic and churning ways beautifully, resulting in an impressive fiery sound. The album closes out with the sound collage of "Whitewash," and the toned down brooding of "What's Left Belongs to No One," which evolves into a swirling choir of crashing drums and repetitive guitar by song's end. By the end of the disc, the band's dramatic growth spurt on this album makes it all the more impressive. Komeda's Lena Karlsson produced the disc, and provides guest vocals on the rollicking "Slow Clapping" and "Birthcam," one of the album's brightest anthems. It's A Trap Records released the disc in March 2004.

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