Friday, March 2, 2012

The Stockholm Monsters - Alma Mater (1984)

On the surface The Stockholm Monsters sound pretty similar to the NZ take on key-based post punk, like The Clean and The Chills, but the difference (improvement, really) is how they accessorize their songs and aren't limited by verse-chorus-bridge formulas in their songwriting. They stand out because of how ample and polyphonic their sound palette was (especially in their later years), and as a group that some would consider to be minimal in many ways, no less. Gothy synthetic church organs, psychedelic Celtic flutes, glorious brass, and absolutely delectable piano harmonies make for some perfectly pinguescent pop. I have two minor 'complaints' : Tony France's voice and Tony France's lyrics. France obviously never took any singing lessons and probably wrote most of the words to these songs in high school (or borrowed them from Bernard Summers). But considering the type of music this is, neither short-fallings were really that uncommon.

Rating: 8.5/10

Link includes bonus singles compilation, All at Once



  1. Thanks for this! I already own most of SM's records on vinyl, but there are a handful of songs included here that I've never found elsewhere, I've been dying to hear them... :)