Article by KevW
We tend to think more of indiepop when it comes to the Swedish alternative music scene, and a higher calibre of pop music than we find in most places when it comes to the country's mainstream output, but there's a growing garage scene in Stockholm. Whether this is inspired by the rebirth of the genre that many other parts of the world, especially the US, have seen or whether it's happened of its own accord can be difficult to say, but it's probably a bit of both. The debut EP from Pinemen could be lifted directly from the American scene and shares the same trebly, reverb-heavy production and a splash of surf as people like Wild Nothing or Beach Fossils. This is very summery for a December release, especially one from a country we associate with snow and ice this time of year, but Pinemen seem keen to push this aspect, with their Facebook page being headed by the shot of a sunny beach.
Many of this new wave of garage bands are, of course, influenced by the 1960s and the kind of groups you'd find on a 'Nuggets' compilation. 'That Certain Flavour' is one such song, and it could be a Seeds cover but with a dreamy quality that's maybe more modern. The style doesn't change excessively, but other sounds and genres creep in. You can detect post-punk on 'Give Up Shopping' and even more so on 'Essence Of Easy Going', although that woozy production means it still fits with the rest of the EP perfectly, even introducing a psychedelic section of scuzzed-out guitar towards the end. The twangy 'So Big So Small' takes their echoing sound and starts throwing mod shapes with the snappy riff, but there's also a slacker vibe. 'Praise Yourself' could be a single and seems to be bigger than anything else here, perhaps because of the cymbal splashes and bright backing vocals - it's nothing new but it's done incredibly well. Last tracks often offer something different, and for Pinemen this means involving a little lo-fi country to proceedings with 'I Never Cry', and it's a nice way to finish an EP that will bring a bit of sunshine to your life.
Buy: 'Pleasant Pain EP'
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