the Swedes
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the Swedes

Band Rock Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Time Out NY blurb1"

We rather like the Swedes perky indie-pop. It finds inspiration in early 80's clean-cut new wave rather than in icky 90's college rock. - Time Out NY

"Time Out NY blurb2"

The Swedes rip a page from the Darkness' glam-revival stroke book, adding fun disco squiggles and chant-along "whoo!"s to their stadium-rock pomposity. - Time Out NY

"75 or less"

Quirky pop is in, which is fine by me since angry facial hair rock makes me cringe like a scared kitten. The Swedes pull off the genre better than most, somewhat successfully blending Shins style pop with Steve Miller / garage-rock guitar licks. These New Yorkers with a photobooth picture obession would feel right at home playing with half the Sub Pop or Merge roster, and I for one wouldn't mind the show. - 75 or less

"sugarzine review"

Take a bit of Suede (aka The London Suede), throw in some Space Hog (raise your hand if you remember Space Hog!), add a dash of Trippin’ Daisy (I’m really reaching, I know), now mix in creatively crafted space-aged synthesized sounds, combine with peppy vocals and—VOILA!—the new wave sounds of The Swedes’ Photolab 9000.

The Swedes, have managed to infuse the psychedelic sounds of the 60’s and 70’s in their music, without forcing the listener to have prolonged bad trip. This can be credited to the strong melodies and danceable tracks. And, trust me, when I say danceable, what I mean is, dance around my room while I should be writing this review, shakin’ my booty. Superior vocal harmonization and poppy guitar hooks provide endless amounts of listening pleasure!

- sugarzine

"Second Review"

The Swedes- Photolab 9000

The Swedes, an impressive merger of inventive and talented musicians, have a single advantage over 99% of the bands out there; they have an amazingly talented lead singer. The Swedes remind us of a time when lyrics were valued for being intelligent and intelligible, and melodies were catchy without being clichéd. Their style is suggestive of an era where the front man was a extroverted performer and not caught up in some adolescent, self-aggrandizing notion of being an “artist” when it’s all ultimately hype. Perhaps it is this contrast between Jon Gray, the lead singer for The Swedes, and most of the lead singers out there that was a constant reminder of something retro about this album, but upon further listening, one realizes the material is thoroughly modern.

Undoubtedly, The Swedes have their influences, though no resemblance is overwhelming. There is a touch of The Cars and a general new wave vibe throughout with Chris Edwards’ laser-like keyboard parts and certain drum sounds. Queen could be heard in the song structures that often stray from the standard forms to deliver a new dramatic comment on the chorus or verse before. A dash of Weezer can also be heard in their solid pop sensibility and in the interaction between bassist Phil Crain’s and Jon Gray’s guitar parts.

The Swedes have been playing together for two years with collective performance experience that spans the US map. Their upcoming, February 2004 release is entitled Photolab 9000, and is available their shows and from CD Baby. The album’s title, Photolab 9000, references one of the best tracks on the album – Photolab - an awesome description of the desire to capture a moment in time. This song exemplifies the band’s ability to take on a heavy topic without making the song overly serious. Other highlights on the record include the witty track Losing to You and the opener Woo-Hoo.
- Northeast Performer

"The Deli Review"

In this modern world, one can build a thriving career based solely on the virtue of taste. Good taste is a cottage industry in our era of interior decorators, personal stylists, and guys named Carson and Kyan. For a rock band, a well defined and executed aesthetic can also carry a band quite far (Here’s an example from the SAT book of analogies - Oasis:Beatles as Interpol:Joy Division).

Of course, merely admiring the qualities of successful musicians is not enough in and of itself to form a band - this task also requires talent and friends who play instruments (two qualities that explain why most rock critics stay far from the stage). The trick for any band is to transcend the weight of its influences while operating in a similar aesthetic. The Swedes are a band with impeccable and distinctive taste. The Swedes combine and refine the music they enjoy to great effect on their debut offering, “Photolab 9000.” The extent to which the music succeeds is based both on their ability to tap into the feel of their heroes and ignore the impulse to wholesale plunder from the past.

The Swedes play punchy, muscular new wave of the late-Seventies British vintage; despite the Scandinavian moniker, their allegiance lies across the North Sea. The Swedes are stylistically indebted to the nervy rhythms and tasty hooks of Elvis Costello and the Attractions. On a more contemporary level, the Swedes also bring to mind the heartland Anglophilia of two Texas bands: Fastball and Spoon. Like the aforementioned groups, the Swedes display an affinity for complex and well-written pop songs delivered with restraint and style.

At their finest, the Swedes produce instantly tuneful songs full of nuance and texture. “Photolab 9000” employs a nice balance of guitar crunch and keyboard bounce- neither instrument overwhelms the band or vocals. In addition, the rhythm section provides a tight platform for the songs. The sharpest hooks are infectious; “One Side” boasts a strong pub-rock backbeat and a winning chorus, “Dangerman” sounds like a great Blur outtake, and “If It’s On” could fog up Mr. Costello’s famous horn-rims.

The band does not consistently reach the heights of these three songs, but the overall quality of the album is still very strong nonetheless. The only pitfalls to which the Swedes succumb is the occasional foray into hero worship - in weaker moments, the Swedes sound overwhelmed by their influences. While their sound is compelling and generally quite good, a few more contemporary touches would go a long way. The same songs would also sound great if played with a little more energy- the weaker songs sound clinical compared to the thrills of the band’s best material. This being said, "Photolab 9000" stands up well with the other albums you might have heard in London 25 years ago, and as a result it is also one of the best New York records I've heard this year.


Ed Gross is a freelance writer in NYC and a contributing writer for Rolling Stone

- The Deli magazine


Adventure Songs (EP - 2000)
Claim This Meatball (EP - 2001)
Photolab 9000 (LP - 2004)
Nothing Says 'Rich' Like Golf Clubs (LP - 2007)


Feeling a bit camera shy


We love songs that you can hum. Big guitars are nice, as long as there aren't too many of them and they are playing parts and not just banging chords. We love harmony. ELO, Beatles, Todd Rundgren, Big Star are pleasing entities in the musical cosmos. Every instrument is a lead instrument and every instrument is a rhythm instrument - it just depends on what you're playing when. If you're going to play a seven-minute long song, there better be a damn good reason for it to be seven minutes long.