BAND OF THE WEEK: DEAN ALLEN FOYD + SKOGEN BRINNER

26 May

Much as we might aspire to be worldly, perhaps even universally tuned in, with regard to our general outlook, the fact is that our Weltanschauung is colored by our own cultural programming. And, as it turns out, the chains forged by that programming are awfully hard to break.

So we ask for your forgiveness as we pair together two bands who may or may not have much in common, aside from their country of origin and the fact that we’re absolutely hooked on the sounds provided by each. We turn our attention now to Sweden – the ancestral home of nihilists and flying machines, and where we currently find other things that we enjoy very much. Today, we add Dean Allen Foyd and Skogen Brinner to that list.

Dean Allen Foyd’s EP entitled “Road to Atlas,” their second release from Crusher Records, immediately paved a path deep in to the center of our  brain, its five songs delivered in twenty-two minutes and thirty-three seconds being an absolutely perfect, absolutely pop-able pill of melody and madness.

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The EP begins with a gallop, a song titled “Sadness of Mankind” immediately sounding anything but sad. It reflects something of a cosmic cowboy vibe, furious finger-picking forging a happy trail that reminds one of a message in the service of quicksilver. The finely-phased vocals deliver a message perhaps more in tune with the song’s title – “Where clouds are marching across the sky like soldiers heading toward the killing fields … I’ve been so afraid for years, I cannot even go beyond my doorstep.” Out of nowhere, there comes a breakdown, the guitars momentarily punched in to the red, before giving way to a more gentle feel. “There must be a brighter day for me,”  it’s sung as the band turns its face towards the sun, and here we hear the band’s penchant for a sound that forever changes. High praise? Indeed, but such is the scene set by Dean Allen Foyd.

These songs are not just catchy – they seem determined to climb inside our ears with an intensity we can only describe as Khan-esque – appropriate, given the refrain of “Insects are crawling / Bugs start a-creeping in” that follows on the second song. While the drummer beats on what we assume is a mountain and a Hammond organ wheezes and gasps for air, the band slowly gathers momentum, heading up from the skies and ultimately finding the road back to earth on “Hwy  Lost (Revisted).”

The EP ends with the title track, recalling to our biased ears something of the incense-burning, cross-legged magnetism of a monster – not a bad thing at all in our book. “My veins have grown tired of receiving / But these are the pains I’ve grown to know,” we hear as the EP comes to a stunning end, with no doubt in our mind that we’ll continue to know this “Road to Atlas” for quite some time to come.

And then comes Skogen Brinner, who’ve arrived at first place in our heart with their debut full-length, “1ST,” on the Subliminal Sounds label.

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Truth be told, there’s nothing subliminal about the sound of Skogen Brinner – it’s overwhelmingly clear and immediately infectious, at least to anyone who spent their youth (and maybe some time after) marveling at Bill Ward’s impressive array of sweaters. Imagine the overdriven melodies of Witchfinder General’s “Death Penalty” only sung in Swedish, and you’re halfway there. To get all the way there, inhale deeply, turn the volume up, and watch this:

The last thing we intend is to give short shrift to Skogen Brinner. There’s absolutely nothing easy about making music that sounds so … easy, we have to assume – otherwise, everyone would be doing it (we hope). And even within the enviable, seemingly endless riff circus of “1ST,” Skogen Brinner give off moments of absolutely crushing charm, such as the pop-ready hooks of “Pundarvarning” (“Junkie Warning”). OK, maybe not pop. But we’re singing along, in a language we don’t know, yet completely understand.

Dean Allen Foyd’s “Road to Atlas” is now available from Crusher Records.

Skogen Brinner’s “1ST” is now available from Subliminal Sounds.

“There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don’t come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity.”

— Isaac Asimov, “A Memoir

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2 Responses to “BAND OF THE WEEK: DEAN ALLEN FOYD + SKOGEN BRINNER”

  1. Francis Rencoret May 27, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Thank you so much for such a uplifting review of our music, it means a lot. Hope to catch you someday if we ever get the chance to play in your country. Keep spreading the word of the bird! Lots of love and appreciation!

    Dean Allen Foyd.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. BAND OF THE WEEK: THE MOVEMENTS | Revolt of the Apes - October 15, 2013

    […] nicely seated between The Soundtrack of Our Lives and contemporaries (and label-mates) such as Dean Allen Foyd. More accurately – and more impressively – the album “Like Elephants 1” brings to mind most […]

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