Pushing Scandinavian Rock to the Man
Vol. III (Bad Afro)
By Scott Hefflon
“Nothing but hits, bitch, nothing but hits!” – Dwarves. OK, so the Dwarves aren’t here (nor should they be), but it fits stylistically. Scandinavian rock is the new thing, and it’s about goddamn time people realized emo and nü metal were fashion-based shitty music watering down good ideas/styles. Bad Afro specializes in soulful rock swagger, sometimes edging toward ’70s acid rock (not metal), sometimes gearing up to hot rod/garage rock (kinda cardboard production, but that’s mostly cuz I’ve heard so many Fat-sounding bands), and while specialists may namecheck Howlin’ whatshisname or Screaming whoever, I keep coming back to early Rolling Stones, James Brown, and classic soul/r&b (not the shit they call r&b now). Meaning it’s rock, real rock, with dangerous energy, passionate, howling/belting-it-out singing, and often reverb-drenched guitar solos. Wait! Before you write this off as retro loser yahoo shit George Thorogood fans’d like chased by a Bud and a “show yer tits!” guffaw, lemme tell you this hip-shakin’ action’d surely appeal to Mod and nü garage fans (those who wanna dig beyond The White Stripes and The Hives and find some other good bands with a “The” in their name), and I can imagine cool indie chicks dancing around to this in their underwear. But, uh, that might just be me…
A few of these bands may be familiar to people who pay close attention – The Flaming Sideburns, The Royal Beat Conspiracy, The Chronics, The Maggots, The Mutants, The Burnouts – or maybe they just sound like “The” bands you’ve heard of (yeah, I know, it’s tough to keep all the band names straight and still remember your mom’s birthday, how many days it’s been since you met that cute indie chick so you can call her and play her this record, and, like, was it beer and toilet paper you were supposed to get?, or was it bread and milk?, shit…), but don’t worry, get this comp, How We Rock, and hopefully Gearhead’ll put out a comp soon, and you’ll be cool and hip and stylin’ in your tattered vintage Kiss/Van Halen/pre-ballad Aerosmith tee, rock boy. Others stickin’ The Rock to The Man: Sweatmaster (whose opening track “I Am a Demon and I Love Rock’n’Roll” kicks ass and says it all), Baby Woodrose, Vegas V.I.P., On Trial, Species, The Laundrettes, The Borderlines, The Defectors, Thee Ultra Bimboos.