Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Decade with Millencolin

I have been on a serious Millencolin kick lately. For a while I barely listened to the Swedish powerhouse but recently I feel like I'm hearing them for the first time and it feels like warm blankets, a fire place, and hot chocolate.
The first song of theirs I ever heard was "No Cigar" off of a Punk-O-Rama Comp, but the first song of theirs I loved was "Fingers Crossed." I was in high school, hanging out in the stage crew room with the stage crew girls. This song (and those girls) help start my love of punk rock. Of course years later, my time in stage crew would lead me to a career, but that's a different story. 
It was the energy and urgency in this song that sparked the attraction. Back then I was always looking for faster, louder music. "Fingers Crossed" piqued my interest with the hard to decipher lyrics, background harmonies, and chugging progression. It was love at first power chord.

My favorite Millencolin song to date is "Penguins and Polarbears." While not as fast paced as the previous song, it has similar sense of importance conveyed by Nikola's (aka the lead singer) inflection. The band sings in English but it is not their native language which influences the relatively simple vocabulary used in their songs. Yet this just adds to the punk rock ambiance of their music- you can do it too.

When their album Kingwood came out, I didn't understand it. It wasn't until this year after coming back to the record that I appreciated it. My favorite track here is "Ray" which sounds incredibly similar to "Fingers Crossed." But the message in "Ray" is much more personal, attacking critics of the band who are upset over the change their sound over time. Basically this song is one giant middle finger to forum trolls and it is done so artfully that as a writer I envy their ability to say this.

My current Millencolin jam of choice is "Right About Now." My original copy of Pennybridge Pinoeers was a copy and had a different song subbed into this one's spot. Once I heard the album on Spotify I decided to remedy the situation and get the album all proper like. "Right About Now" is under two minutes long and bristles with energy. No deep message, just good times.

I've only seen this band once at a Warped Tour too many years ago. I hope they come back to the States soon.

1 comment:

Gnaw said...

And who could forget the best bowling themed ska song ever, Da Strike!