How many times have you heard someone say, "I wonder what the new AC/DC album is gonna sound like"? None times, that's how many. That's because every time AC/DC releases an album you can bet it's gonna be choc full of sexual euphemisms, excessive guitar leads, and the simplest drum beats you could imagine. And that's exactly why we love AC/DC. They deliver exactly what we want, and they don't vary from what they know they're good at.
Millencolin is the AC/DC of punk rock. Ever since Pennybridge Pioneers they have consistently delivered catchy, driving punk-influenced rock. And Kingwood is no exception. If you're looking for something ground-breaking, look elsewhere. If you're looking for solid, catchy, driving punk rock, then this is the band for you.
Pennybridge Pioneers, Home From Home, and Kingwood demonstrate an obvious progression from rock-influenced punk to punk-influenced rock while maintaining a sound that is distinctly their own. This sound is due in large part to singer/bassist Nikola Sarcevic's vocals. He has one of the strongest, most focused voices in punk rock today, and his melodies are unique and appropriate.
Millencolin has also had the good fortune of working with excellent producers. Those Swedes sure know how to make a rock record. Kingwood is sonically similar to Home From Home despite changing producers. The only thing that may have suffered in the switch is the production on the vocals. It seems that they tried some effects on the vocals that could have been done without. This is most evident when the band quiets down and leaves the vocals naked in the spotlight, but it's nothing extreme, and most listeners may not even notice.
Lyrically, Millencolin is generally positive, which is a refreshing change from the current glut of violence and whining in the punk/indie realm. Granted, being from Sweden hinders their lyrical ability at times, but it's always endearing and never embarrassing. Many songs, such as "Novo," deal optimistically with problems, but it's punk rock, so there are the obligatory angst-ridden songs like the aggressive "Simple Twist of Hate."
I would venture to say that there is not a single bad song on this entire record, and that is no small feat. Like I said, if you're in search of the next big thing, Millencolin won't satisfy you. But if you just want some good, solid rock, definitely check this record out. For those about to rock, Millencolin salutes you.
Review By: Christopher Thomas!