Shout Out Louds, The Rosebuds

Sweden is one of those longitudinal oddities, where everlasting sun and everlasting night box back and forth in tune with the seasons, and the country's biggest music acts have a similar double nature. The Cardigans sounded like fluff and sang about wrist-slashing, and the Hives sound like daggers and sing about fluff, yet Sweden's Shout Out Louds are un-schizophrenic: Their debut LP, the unfortunately-titled Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, is a sonic chiaroscuro. Pop melodies burst out of distorted guitar hooks, bummed-out vocals shadow a jingle-jangle beat you can bop to--and that's all in one song, the unstoppable lead single "Very Loud." In concert, the band's adrenalized garage pop refuses to take sides even more emphatically; the math-rock time signatures and grunge hooks register faster and louder, while the sugary melodies shoot straight into the crowd's bloodstream.
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Maya Singer