red lights


New wave becoming old-hat

The Sounds - Dying To Say This To You
(New Line Records)
2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Mar. 11, 2006
The Sounds

Review by Tony Bonyata

Just what we need, another rock band to cash in on the cheesy synths and disposable pop of the 1980s while trying, in vain, to also incorporate the grit of 21st century garage rock. While The Sounds may hail from Sweden, they actually have very little in common with a wealth of edgier rockers to emerge from that country over the last five years - such as The Hives, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Division of Laura Lee and Sahara Hotnights.
On The Sounds' follow-up to their 2002 Living in America debut, entitled Dying to Say This to You, the quintet revisit the new wave sounds that were only mildly amusing when they originally aired on the, then, innovative cable TV music channel MTV (which ironically of the years has become a medium that has little to do with music).
Singer Maja Ivarsson certainly exudes enough character throughout this ten song collection, but with the mimicking cries of Cyndi Lauper on the maudlin, piano-driven balladry of "Night After Night" and the pouty delivery of The Go-Gos' Belinda Carlisle on the disposable pop of "24 Hours" and "Much Too Long Now," they're characters that have already been well-played out some twenty years ago.
Although guitarist Felix Rodriguez manages to occasionally raise the bar with some impressive guitar work, as witnessed on "Running Out of Turbo," "Queen of Apology" and "Ego," they're all undermined by the dated synth sounds from keyboardist Jesper Anderberg. They continue to slather on the '80s cheese for the itchy-pop of "Tony The Beat" and "Don't Want To Hurt You," which, by song's end, is rather hard to believe.
'm not sure if The Sounds' forced dropping of the "F-bomb" along with their trumped-up energy and faux-punk spirit is their idea of keeping this type of music fresh, but, if you ask me, one decade was enough of this style of trite, new wave pop - no matter how you dress it up.

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