For a long while, this was the stuff I couldn't get enough of: obscure punk rock from exotic locales, be it Paris or Albany—or, in this case, somewhere in Sweden. The punk explosion created the folk music of our generation, and it was always a kick to hear how newly empowered kids in tiny bands around the world had put their indigenous spin on the templates handed down from London and New York. Sweden had some good bands—Rude Kids; Kriminella Gitarrer; PF Commando; Massmedia; Butter Utter—so even though my passion has waned in recent years, I couldn't resist a peek at this 30-track comp of groups recorded in the basement of a young Mr. Bosse (?), circa '79 - '86. While there are some truly glorious, fucked-up 'n' trashy moments here—courtesy of the two earliest-sounding outfits, Spy and MacKT—most of the bands date from either the largely uneven new wave period or the far less-appealing, Maximum R&R-driven hardcore era. Local new wave can be good for a laugh (as much of this is) but generic hardcore is still—ta-da!—generic hardcore. Other bummer is the packaging; some amusing pix of the bands, along with a couple of 7” sleeves, but totally lacking in background info. No personnel listings, no recording or release dates—nothing. (Surprisingly disappointing for a label like Dionysus; after all, who buys these things, other than musicologists or collector dorks like us? Even outright bootlegs like the Killed By Death or Bloodstains LPs have liner notes.) Folks who need it all will probably still want this, but, as an intro to Swedish punk, I'd recommend either of the two Bloodstains variations (released simultaneously, by different entrepreneurs) that cover the region. [Dionysus/Bacchus Archives]
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