Export Sweden Showcase
Reviewed by Jerry Renshaw, Fri., March 19, 2004
Export Sweden ShowcaseB.D. Riley's, Thursday, March 18 First off, B.D. Riley's ain't exactly the most band-friendly venue on Sixth Street. The stage and PA didn't work in Kristofer Alstrom's favor last night; his introspective acoustic guitar singer-songwriter material would've worked better for a happy hour in some downtown bar. Alstrom's got a good voice and decent skills on the guitar, and occasionally comes across with compelling lines. ("Drunk and weary outside your door" and "I am cornered in this town.") Unfortunately, the Stockholmer's songs become repetitious quickly, with equal amounts of "oooh-aaaahs" and "mmm-mmms" padding out their running times. It might be interesting to hear Alstrom fully realized, with a band fleshing his songs out. Also from Stockholm is Holden, a fourpiece with a female lead singer who could easily find a second career as a model or aerobics instructor. Holden practices what Eighties writers used to call "angular, jagged pop," reminiscent of Gang of Four or Echo & the Bunnymen, complete with clanking Rickenbacker bass and keyboard-as-rhythm-instrument. Lead singer Jenny, decked out in white Eighties winkle picker boots, even took an excursion or two into the crowd and put out twice the energy of most bands (somehow without breaking much of a sweat). The 1986 feel continued with a third Stockholm act, Kamera, a fey, androgynous, faintly morose band that called to mind the Smiths, OMD, and Ultravox with their sleek, stripped-down brand of New Wave. With their gooshy synthesizer and sequencer laying down rhythms, the only thing the band needed was the splat of an electronic snare drum to round out their mid-Eighties feel. And that's not a put-down. There was plenty of Eighties music that sounded fresh and energetic at the time certainly better than the pedestrian hard rock and metal that was going around then. What's a little disturbing, though, is the notion that most of these bands were in grade school the first time this brand of New Wave came around, and that the Eighties are far enough back now to actually become "nostalgia." Sigh. Sweden's Kamera and Holden have the right idea about Eighties pop anyway.
SEE OUR COMPLETE SXSW 2013 COVERAGE
More Music Reviews
Gold Boots Glitter
Luke Winkie, Fri., May 24, 2013
Gulf Coast Museum
Margaret Moser, Fri., May 24, 2013
The Low Highway
Jim Caligiuri, Fri., May 24, 2013
Abby Johnston, Fri., May 24, 2013
Doug Freeman, Fri., May 24, 2013
More by Jerry Renshaw
Film Review Misses Mark Please make a note not to print any more movie reviews of big action movies by Kimberley Jones. She gets ...
What's the Big Deal? I'm baffled by this obsession with Mueller. I drove through it out of curiosity and it's a suburban nightmare that ...
No Mystery in School Bond Failures How out of touch has the Chronicle become with the voting populace of this city? From the article “Bonds: Death ...
Program Is Vital Resource I am responding to your article on ACCESS News, the program by and for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. The ...
Finding Rail Route Complicated Michael King, in “The Reading Railroad”, while making valuable points, seems to state that finding an initial route for urban ...
- Follow us@AustinChronicle