Courtesy of The Sounds
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If you’ve ever seen the music video for Cobra Starship’s collaborative 2006 hit “Bring It (Snakes on a Plane),” then you’ve already met Maja Ivarsson. She’s the feisty, platinum-haired lead singer of the Swedish new-wave band The Sounds.
Although the cover of the band’s sophomore effort, Dying to Say This to You, depicts two brunettes, The Sounds are an electropop quintet made up of four guys and a blonde. With catchy, electronic beats worthy of even the most hipster dance party, The Sounds shot from the little town of Helsingborg to the top of Sweden’s music charts with their debut album Living in America in 2002. Despite massive homeland success, a nod on Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Best Songs of 2006 list and a rightful place on the main stage of the 2006 Warped Tour, to most American ears, The Sounds remain almost as obscure as their hometown.
That said, do your iPod a favor and give these spunky foreign imports a listen. Their second album provides some of the band’s catchiest tunes yet with synthesized beats, heavy guitar melodies and stylized vocals. “Song With a Mission” kicks off the album with a cowbell and an ‘80s-inspired guitar hook that channels images of leopard spandex and big hair.
“Queen of Apology” showcases Ivarsson’s slightly pissed off and completely sassy vocals, while keyboardist Jesper Anderberg’s versatility shines on the acoustic ballad “Night After Night.” The lyrics to “Tony the Beat” are as sexed-up as they are fun, and Ivarsson’s raw delivery drives the song as she demands, “Hey, let’s kick it / Stop, just lick it / let you start it / ‘cause ‘cause it’s so easy / you like it my way / and I know it / so let’s do it / do it, do it real good.”
But one of the band’s most infectious hits doesn’t even show up on either of their albums. “Bombs Bombs Away (Teenage Battlefield),” featured in the German film “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” sounds like the electronic lovechild of a video game soundtrack and an ‘80s aerobics video.
Lyrically, The Sounds aren’t trying to change the world, but what the band lacks in depth, they make up for with sheer attitude and catchiness. In case their involvement with “Snakes on a Plane” is not enough of an indication, The Sounds make it glamorously clear in their music that they just want to party.
—By Asst Entertainment Editor Franchesca Winters