Sweden is the New Canada
Last year it seemed as though Canada was exporting every emerging rock band. Perhaps this year belongs to Sweden. From those pop-loving pacifists comes the sexually charged balls-to-the-wall music of The Ark. Their third full length, The State of the Ark, is forty minutes of hi-fi dance-pop, rock and roll insanity. Some may just dismiss this album as another retro rip-off, but what it lacks in originality it surely makes up for in fun. The highlights include the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s lead track â€šÃ„ÃºThis Piece of Poetry is Meant to Do Harm,â€šÃ„Ã¹ which is the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s strongest moment. The Scissor Sisters-meets-Tommy James songwriting style is enhanced by its slick Abba-esque production style and itâ€šÃ„Ã´s funky rock arrangements a la late 70s Queen. â€šÃ„ÃºClamour For Glamourâ€šÃ„Ã¹ begins like a Kiss song being sung by Kraftwerk. However, by the time the chorus comes around, the rock-out- with-your-cock-out vocals come in full force. â€šÃ„ÃºLet Me Down Gentlyâ€šÃ„Ã¹ would not be out of place at a best friendâ€šÃ„Ã´s roller-skating party back in 1992. The songâ€šÃ„Ã´s shy keyboards, 4/4 beats, and urgent chorus will make anyone around the age of 25 reach for their rollerblades. The Arkâ€šÃ„Ã´s lyrics are juvenile and ill conceived. However, â€šÃ„ÃºPeople here in your neighborhood/Act real cool but they dance no good,â€šÃ„Ã¹ just sounds badass when backed by juicy riffs and slinky synths.
On State of the Ark, their sound can be traced back to countless artists, yet they play these songs in such a fun and exciting way. One has to admit that sometimes a kick ass beat, a few power chords, and some loud vocals are all you need.