I’m guessing that you can probably guess the style of music that Swedish band Alice’s Wedding offer, based on their Facebook page description of themselves as ‘’Sad boys making sad music in a sad town’’. Their emo shoegaze EP, ‘Welcome to the Wedding’ has just been released, and the debut demonstrates impressive progress from a band who have only been playing together for just over a year.
The ‘sad town’ they describe is the West Coast port town of Uddevalla, and normally when Nordic bands or artists make comments like this about their home towns I try to counter it, but clearly Uddevalla had somewhat of a tough time in the economic crash of the 70’s and 80’s, and that seems to provide the backdrop for their passionate and fraught approach to music making by the now 5 piece band – they did originally start performing as a 3 piece without synths.
The EP opens with ‘Come Back’, with guitars straight out of 90’s shoegaze, a wall of sound that cuts to distinct vocals and some pretty ‘in your face’ synths that build up to the chorus. The combination of desperate sounding vocals and thrashing drums is fairly powerful and intense, maybe a little too much for my ears.
‘Cut Me Into Three’ is a curious track which seems to venture in the direction of post punk, with some throaty death metal vocals apparently thrown in for good measure, and which even left me double checking that my online streaming service hadn’t inadvertently started playing a different band. But I guess I can’t have it both ways, my biggest frustration with shoegaze style bands is that often there’s a little too much staring at feet and introspection, so I guess it’s good to hear a band like this willing to break out if it's apparent confines, with real genuine passion.
‘Alice’s Song’ is probably the highlight for me though, with a blaze of guitars, synths, reverb and noise, more plaintive vocals, and I can’t helping how impressive this must all be live – which is backed up by them getting to the final of the Swedish Imagine music competition last year.
They suggest in their bio that the combination of emo, new wave and shoegaze creates a fusion of sound ‘unlike anything you’ve heard before’, and I’m not sure I’d go that far. But they seem to have a really natural fervour and power in their music that comes from somewhere, and I can imagine it would be particularly engrossing and persuasive live.