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February 5, 1997

 

The Cardigans

Cardigans, First Band on the Moon (Mercury 1996) - Swedish imports, the Cardigans, seek to win you over with their blend of pop, kitsch, and sensuous purr. Big hits in the northland, the Cardigans have a pop sound that's a cross between Roxette, Moodswings, and Lush, which means that it swings both ways.

But don't think that the Cardigans want to be pigeon-holed as just another Swedish act. Bassist Magnus Sveningsson, for one, want nothing to do with the Sweden represented by certain chart sensations: "Ace of Base once said that they preferred playing in other countries, because the Swedish critics didn't respect them. But no one respects them!"

The Cardigans are fronted by the honey-complexioned Nina Persson, whose English-as-second-language enunciation generates a sexy buzz ala the Divinyls. The band (which was formed in 1992) also includes guitarist Peter Svensson, drummer Bengt Lagerberg, and keyboardist Lasse Johansson. While Peter and Magnus are the main songwriters for the ten tracks on First Band on the Moon, Nina wrote half the lyrics.

The album includes the breathless pop number, "Lovefool," together with a surprisingly tasteful cover of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," and the slower, album-ending "Choke."

All told First Band on the Moon is a sweet slice of pop. Effortlessly crossing the Atlantic, the Cardigans could make waves in the States.
 
  go sailor
Go Sailor, Go Sailor (Lookout 1996) - Go Sailor is a three-piece band based in San Francisco. The band (consisting of Rose on guitar and vocals, Amy on drums, and Paul on base and vocals) favors a cheerful pop sound.

Lookout Records (which culled Go Sailor's songs from seven inch releases) also has released a 20-band, 25-song compilation called Heide Sez. Based out of Berkeley, Lookout Records favors punk in all its forms - pop punk, Ramone punk, garage punk, hard core punk, and girl punk.

With bands like Pansy Division, The Mr. Key Experience and The Queers, there's tons of two-minute, four-chord power rock here. My favorite track is by Cub , whose "Magic Eight Ball" has a great pop sound. Priced at only $6.00 for CD, Heide Sez is a bargain. Call Lookout Records at 510/849-8300.

-- Randy Krbechek
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