SECOND SUN - Eländes Elände

Second Sun - Eländes Elände

10 songs
36:17 minutes
***** ****


No one plays psychedelic rock quite like the Swedes. Best example are psych revivalists Dungen who have put their stamp on the genre since the beginning of the millennium. Second Sun have only been around since the beginning of the current decade, and are now back with their sophomore longplayer Eländes Elände, a surprisingly varied take on the genre that will entertain you from beginning to end with its not even forty minutes of music.

The opener Vems Fel begins with howling wind, soon joined by a sweet electric guitar melody, just to switch at the twenty second mark into a strange concoction mixing psychedelia, disco and hard rock into a heady stew. This short three-minute track displays already all of the quartet’s strengths. While you could accuse the guys of being somewhat derivative, they have the knowhow to put all these old ingredients and end up with something maybe not new sounding but definitely incredibly entertaining. The following Förneka Allt is another three-minute short piece, this time veering more towards a hard rocking edge. The Swedish lyrics that the band uses on all their songs adds a certain exotic touch, provided you’re not from Sweden. My favourite track comes next. Noll Respekt is a fast paced piece of music with a bouncing organ line and a never ending vocal part. The singer just keeps on singing, not caring that there might be a bridge between verse and chorus. This attitude combined with the elevated tempo give this song a certain punk feeling.

Although most songs are about three minutes long, there are a few that make it to nearly five minutes. Enda Sunda Människan i Världen comes with trippy keyboard parts that give it a space rock touch, and on Du Ska Se Att Det Blir Sämre, the vocalist shows his limitations when it comes to hitting the very high notes, but even that little flaw makes things even more charming. Det Betyder Allt is a pastoral guitar driven ballad, followed by Panikångestattack, another fast and angry song that once again made me think of punk rock. The album ends with the instrumental title track, which works more as an outro and reprises the sweet guitar melody that opened the record, thus letting us come full circle.

The band quotes progressive and not so progressive bands like Camel, early Judas Priest and Jethro Tull among their influences. Apart from the aforementioned Dungen, I also felt reminded at times of Norwegian bands Motorpsycho and Tusmørke, but that’s close enough to Sweden, isn’t it? If you like psych revival that never neglects the melodic component but is also not afraid to rock it hard at times, then Second Sun are definitely a band you want to watch out for. My only misgiving is that the album is too much on the short side with its sparse thirty-six minutes playing time. But quality-wise, there is nothing to complain about.

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