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Millencolin – 'SOS' Album Review


1. SOS

2. For Yesterday

3. Nothing

4. Sour Days

5. Yanny & Laurel

6. Reach You

7. Do You Want War

8. Trumpets & Poutine

9. Let It Be

10. Dramatic Planet

11. Caveman's Land

12. Carry On

For anyone in my age bracket (thirty five but who’s counting really) one of the greatest video game soundtracks of all time was Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2. The variety of great tracks and genres was incredible and I spent hours at a time playing it, on PC, alone.

So of course, 'No Cigar' by Millencolin was one of the songs on repeat, I was heavily into Skate Punk and Ska-Punk at the time and that track, by an unfamiliar band had me singing along. Fast forward about 7 years and I found myself buying 'Life On A Plate' on a whim, and falling in love with these Swedish Punk stars all over again. That along with the set I saw the same weekend at Reading Festival really brought it home for me.

So, the question is whether this album reaches the heights of Millencolin’s most popular recordings.

In general, the answer is a definite yes, the same powerful riffs and beats are still there, and the production quality is as sharp as you could ever ask for.

Songs like 'Reach You', 'Nothing' and 'Let it Be' are destined to be staples in live sets, with 'Reach You' really standing out from the opening riff all the way through to the lyrics filling me with that memory of longing for someone you’ve only seen once or twice but wish you could know more.

In fact with very few exceptions, every track has a noticeable riff that would get you smiling, and waiting to chant the chorus along with a bunch of your friends in a field or sweaty club. While the music has definitely matured, it still makes me feel nostalgic, with every element of each song well crafted. It’s a sign of a band who are comfortable with their own music, and willing to take time to make an impression, and not just release music for the sake of it.

There’s definitely an edge of familiarity to some of the songs, with dashes of Green Day and Bad Religion in some of the tracks, but where I’ve been critical of some bands before just copying others, the elements that are added here actually add a little variety to the songs so the album flows better without taking anything away from the band’s identity.

The album just really makes me long for the old days, before MySpace and when texting was the most your phone could do. When you had to track down bands through Punk label compilations, game soundtracks or through Cd’s passed around by your group of friends.

Thankfully albums like this help me to remember that there’s still those great bands out there who can still consistently produce a great album without selling their souls to the big labels, overblown egos or a general consensus to do something a bit weird that alienates half the intended audience. It’s a great Skate Punk album, that has a few messages in there but does so without forcing it down your throats.

(A big smile on my face almost all the way through this)

Review - Oil Williams

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