Millencolin – SOS
Released: 15th February 2019
Nikola Sarcevic // vocals, bass
Erik Ohlsson // guitar
Mathias Färm // guitar
Fredrik Larzon // drums
Millencolin’s new release SOS comes four years after 2015’s True Brew, an album that was heralded by many fans as a return to form after the more eclectic, slower paced Machine 15. SOS picks up where True Brew finished, with the high intensity that many long term Millencolin fans associate with the Swedish punk rock kings.
The title track and first single ‘SOS’ opens with a rolling drum beat and a young choir singing, before seguing into the up-tempo guitar riff. The song, a plea to humanity about the state of the world, is a catchy and rollicking start to Millencolin’s ninth album. ‘For Yesterday’ maintains the tempo, with Fredrik Larzon’s insistent drums underpinning frontman Nikola Sarcevic’s trademark vocals. The bridge makes for a pleasing singalong section during live shows for the audience. It’s a winning complement to the first song, which continues with second single ‘Nothing’, another high intensity, classic Millencolin song, that changes key during the final verse.
‘Sour Days’ follows, using some guitar effects before the drums kick in as the chorus starts. The song, although a little slower, still maintains a tempo expected for a punk rock band. ‘Yanny and Laurel’, a song taking its name from last year’s viral craze, is about the stupidity of man (or at least “80%”), using our obsession with something as inane as what one hears to make a comment on how people view the world. The title, seemingly eye rollingly stupid is actually a clever commentary on society, even incorporating the auto tune into the chorus, further highlighting the song’s point. ‘Reach You’ one of the only non-political songs on the album, is a pleasant little punk rock love song. ‘Do You Want War’ kicks off with a very 90’s alternative rock opening, before transitioning into a traditional Millencolin song.
‘Trumpets and Poutine’ starts with Larzon’s drums, before Mathias Färm and Erik Ohlsson’s guitars kick in and Sarcevic begins singing. The upbeat song, with the extended metaphor of humankind being band members who play different musical instruments is a memorable song with a great bridge. Musically and lyrically it is one of the more impressive songs on the album. ‘Let It Be’, ‘Dramatic Planet’ and ‘Caveman’s Land’ continues the overall themes and tone of the album, with Larzon, Färm, Ohlsson and Sarcevic continuing to show aptitude in creating and performing skate punk rock. ‘Carry On’ brings the album to the end, starting off a little slower than the previous songs, while having a notable melody, allowing for a good sing along.
Many Millencolin fans are notorious for having the mentality of “I like their old stuff better than their new stuff”, but Millencolin are not the same band they were 25 years ago, when they started in their late teens. These are grown men, who have important things to say and who have developed their skills, becoming better musicians and lyricists in the process, and SOS is a reflection of this. It is their most social and political album to date, whilst still maintaining the timeless Millencolin tempo, beat and tone.
Millencolin – SOS tracklisting
- For Yesterday
- Sour Days
- Yanny and Laurel
- Reach You
- Do You Want War
- Trumpets and Poutine
- Let It Be
- Dramatic Planet
- Caveman’s Land
- Carry On
Millencolin are touring Australia with Goldfinger next month. Details here!
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