Villebråd — Alla Är Här Utom Jag
(Transubstans Records TRANS023, 2006, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-01-01
For those of you who miss Landberk (I know I do) I urge you to give this album a listen. Villebråd, who hail Uppsala, Sweden, have been together for three years and were formed by brothers Erik (vocals, guitars, keys) and Påhl (drums) Sundström. Along with David Hallberg (bass), they’ve taken modern alt rock with all of its love for 80s New Wave and have injected it with proggy elements to create a fresh and progressive set of songs, in every sense of the word. Erik’s got a fine voice that reminds me of Patric Helje, as well as the early English neo-prog singers (Peter Nichols, Geoff Mann, etc.) even though he sings exclusively in Swedish. The songwriting (including two instrumentals) harkens back to New Wave bands like Ultravox and Japan while maintaining prog rock’s penchant for quirky arrangements and odd time signatures, along with catchy melodies and strong hooks. Songs like “Periferi” and “Gjutjärnsspis” recall Landberk’s blending of plaintive vocal and almost naive guitar while others like “Försvunnen i Antipoderna” adopt a brashness loaded with Tony Iommi-styled Gibson SG overdrive. Keyboards figure into the songs in interesting ways, whether Mellotron for added lushness or analog synths as coloration. I’m sure many Exposé readers will find this too reminiscent of 80s synth pop for their tastes, though I find these guys a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale and derivative prog landscape.
Related artist(s): Villebråd
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