You thought Sweden was dried up, had shot its wad, was all used up in the department of throwback rock'n'roll groups of the garage/dirty type a la The Stooges or MC5 and their ilk. You thought wrong. Randy, which hails from nowhere else then the passive politicalicizing Sweden, brings the old-time rock'n'roll just like their country-mates The Hives, the self proclaimed best band in the world (right, dudes), The Sahara Hotnights, The Swedish Donnas, The International Noise Conspiracy, the capitalist hating-T-shirt selling Make-Up copiers, Division of Laura Lee, etc., etc.
If you thought Sweden was spent, you'd be dead wrong. Apparently, a Swedish factory pumps out an endless supply of these rock'n'roll revival bands. This latest drop in the Swedish rock bucket should be intolerable, as the world is already more than satiated on that whole scene; the funny thing is, you might enjoy this record despite the hordes of teeming garage-rock fanatic teenagers.
Dirtier than The Strokes and not quite as saccharine, Randy is pretty much the Swedish version of The Mooney Suzuki, and sounds much like the Electric Sweat-ing, sunglass-wearing throwbacks from New York. The difference between Randy and Mooney Suzuki is that Randy isn't as concerned as being The Velvet Underground or The Stooges. Instead, it's more interested in writing fun rock/pop songs albeit with derivate nods to the forefathers of punk like Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and Wayne Kramer. Complete with fuzzy vocals, fuzzy guitars, and heavy, pound-in-the-chest drums Welfare Problems has lyrical interest in the political heavy-handedness and lethargy of its home country and the social ills of the world in general. This music doesn't lend itself easily to political statements so it's a good thing that its fun to listen to.
"Dirty Tricks," "X-Ray Eyes" and "Ruff Stuff" are all great examples of what Randy does best. "X-Ray Eyes" is especially enjoyable, as Randy steps out of its garage box and into some black leather jackets via Ramonish oohs and ahs punk. Then again, "A Man in Uniform" oversteps the "influence on the sleeve" boundary and sounds a bit too much like "Rock and Roll Radio." Some of the songs fall flat on the floor and flop like boring punk songs ("Cheap Thrills" and "Welfare Problems") but such formulaic monotony isn't enough to kill this album's excitement.