Here to give your senses an abrasively bracing blasting and the body an irresistible work out is the debut self-titled album from Swedish duo The Guilt, a band which just might be the most exciting thing to happen to punk rock in recent times. Musically the pair of vocalist Emma and guitarist/beat caster Tobias create something angry and seductive from styles bred from electro punk to heavy rock and any flavour of rock ‘n’ roll your ears desire, or as they call it, laserpunk. Bottom line though is that The Guilt creates instinctive punk rock to rouse the spirit and assault the world in one of the year’s biggest treats so far.
The Guilt emerged in Helsingborg 2012, Emma and Tobias making a fresh musical start after the death of an old friend. Initially the pair used an iPod for synths and beats rather than replace the drummer before turning to a Roland synthesizer resulting in the fine mix assaulting the listener from within their first album. 2015 saw the release of their maiden EP on Heptown Records, who now release the album, with another outing for it last year through Suicide Records. It was a nudge on attention now being followed by a mighty slap courtesy of, as already suggested, one of the essential moments of 2017.
An electronic squiggle draws ears to the waiting clutches of opener Cunty Mess, the song swiftly taking advantage of intrigue with its scuzzy riffs and wandering groove. Once the voice of Emma saunters in, defiance reeking from every breath and syllable, the song just comes alive. Tobias conjures a web of hooks and unpredictability as a gnarly bass grabs its piece of an already lusty appetite for the track’s punk ‘n’ roll. Bouncing with catchy enterprise across its body but especially a pop infested chorus, the song seduces within its first spirit inciting roar.
The following Hate Hate Hate is swifter to unveil its antagonistic attitude, guitar and synth colluding in devious coaxing before Tobias unleashes a deliciously nagging groove as Emma stands hollering, irritation fuelling her presence and attack. She almost prowls song and listener, building her zeal loaded rage for the rapacious chorus; the sounds around her just as dynamic and predacious. Yet there is virulence to the repetitive groove and tenacious beats which has limbs and body as involved as energy and thoughts, dancing and rioting united in one song, though pretty much all the tracks within the album spark matching reactions.
I Don’t Care follows with its dose of crabby rock ‘n’ roll, the track simply punk rock to its core. Like L7 meets Midnight Mob, the song strolls along with a militant air; its middle finger raised under the defiance stoking shout of Emma and driven by the equally ferocious sounds of Tobias. The track is superb, maybe even eclipsing its predecessors before I Just Know It has feet and hips bouncing to its electro pop punk antics. With a touch of The Objex to it when it snarls and a whiff of The Knife in its calmer electronic shuffle, the song epitomises the band’s ability at fusing danceable pop and threat loaded punk rock if showing more restraint of its aggression than those tracks before it.
Having your senses crawled over; imagination fingered does not come much more potent or enjoyable than the start of Bad Things. It infests ears with its dark deeds and growling textures, the Roland popping away with its electronic spots to highlight rather than temper the irritated heart of the track; a union only blossoming to bigger exploits as the song boils over in another anthemic chorus surrounded by enjoyably corrosive flames.
The stunning Anomlays is next; the band’s latest single an incendiary eruption of punk and pop sounding like Animal Alpha leading Morningwood into a pit of hellacious body corrupting toxicity. One of the highest pinnacles in nothing but across the album, its success is closely matched by It’s Not Me It’s You. A little like Blood Red Shoes given a hefty dose of animosity but again emerging as something unmistakably unique to The Guilt, the song swings and grooves while spreading venomous fun and ravishing attitude; electro pop and punk has never sounded so delicious together.
That is another key thing about the album; for all the references we suggest or others different people may offer, The Guilt has a sound which stands alongside no-one. Its voice, imagination, and character is one of the most original around right now yet feels like a friend from its first hungry touch. Next up When The Honey Comes is proof, the track swaggering through ears with another grimace to its tone but is as quickly springing infectious flavours and hip provoking exploits as guitar and bass niggle away with their great persistence.
The release is brought to a fiery close with firstly the cantankerous stomp of Give It and lastly the psychotic hop of Ovaries. Both tracks leave exhaustion and instinctive pleasure in their wake, the first with its primal punk ‘n’ roll and its successor with its electro punk revelry though even with its kinetic web of sound and contagious consuming of the body there is something inescapably predatory to the album’s thrilling conclusion.
The Guilt is beginning to catch and excite new ears and passions in droves, their album shows exactly why. It assaults, infests, demands, and rewards in equal measure; most of all it gives music and its fans the kind of fun time and rebellious streak it has arguably been missing lately. We say let their album be your next port of call and as for us, they just might be your new favourite, probably obsessive passion.
The Guilt album is out May 5th through Heptown Records.
Pete RingMaster 05/05/2017
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