GATUPLAN – Kampen Går Vidare!

Rating: 2.5/5
Distributor/label: Wild Kingdom
Release: 26 February 2021
Buy Album: Pre-Order- ORCD
Band Website: Facebook

Band Line up:

Inge Johansson – Bass / Vocals
Jouni Haapala – Drums
Fredrik Eriksson – Guitar
Simon Dahlberg – Guitar
Anna Philipsson – Vocals
Lars Ekman – Keyboard

Tracklisting:

01-Radio Gatuplan
02-Min Revolution
03-Cashen Dom Tas
04-All Tid I Världen
05-Punkhjärta
06-Millenial Blues
07-Skandinistas
08-Apan På Ryggen
09-Din Värld Min Värld
10-Dee Dee Ramone
11-Stureplansfrisyr
12-Staden Med Levande Döda

Review:

GATUPLAN is veteran punk rock bass player Inge Johansson (known from bands such as The (international) Noise Conspiracy, Against Me!, CSS, Cryssis, and Stiletto) first solo album. Inge has made the rounds of the Swedish rock scene and has played in the U.S. as well as his homeland of Sweden. Inge explains:

“When I started writing songs for GATUPLAN the idea was to make music with the melodies and emotions of Ramones, the attitude of Rancid, a way of delivering vocals and lyrics like Mike Skinner of The Streets, a danceable world music/ska groove taken from bands like Mano Negra and The Specials and the approach to politics like Public Enemy. I wanted to write music that would work in a club vibe, but also as the soundtrack to a protest. And even though I’m singing in Swedish, I wanted to make sure that the songs were simple and catchy enough to break language barriers.”

This record is dripping with chaotic early 00’s pop-punk vibes. The fast drum and repeated guitar chords, and slightly nasal harmonised vocals make me feel like a sad teenager. Excuse me while I resist the urge to declare to whoever will listen to that this is NOT a phase, and no, I will not move my fringe from my eyes, even though it’s giving me a headache. Nostalgia is a good thing, and there can be too much of a good thing, case in point, I found myself wincing involuntarily at the record scratches on the first track of this record.

Thankfully as things progress, the noughties cringe is mitigated a little by some respectable guitar solos and charming ska-percussions. Until it returns in full force with Apan på ryggen that to my thirteen-year-old ears may have sounded deep and mournful but now drips with immaturity, and rings generic pop-punk anthem at best. Now I want to step back and make a quick disclaimer that there is a bit of a language barrier which means the content of the lyrics was wholly lost, so for all I know, they may be poetic masterpieces.

It’s hard being an elder pop-punk musician, the genre seemed to exhaust its possibilities in the early 2010s, and this is coming from someone who regularly returns to Green Day’s Basket Case for the instant serotonin hit and addictive catchiness that it can deliver. The fact of the matter remains that when you have four chords and a handful of tricks available, you’ll end up sounding like every other pop-punk song from the last ten years.

If you’re up for a fun bop that reminds you of your teenage years and induces the occasional cringy pang of your youth this record will suit you well enough, whether nostalgia alone is enough to keep your interest will remain to be seen.

Review  by Annalisa Orlando
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