Release Date: Jul 1, 2014
Record label: Sony Music
Forming from the leftover detritus of Those Dancing Days, Swedish post-punk duo Vulkano are as uncontrollable and explosive as the phenomenon from which they’ve nabbed their sobriquet. While not necessarily as dour as other heralds of the genre (take Savages or MONEY, for example), they still harness the raw, gravelly energy of their chosen style – however, rather than simply channelling that power into pantomime rage, they’ve opted to veer towards the realms of pop also. It’s a grinning snarl that embodies Vulkano’s debut LP Live Wild Die Free.
Perhaps leaning more towards the quainter end of the riot grrl spectrum as opposed to Bikini Kill territory, Vulkano – a Swedish duo of Lisa Pyk-Wirstrom and Cissi Efraimsson – channel something of the avant-garde as the ten tracks of their debut bounce between topics of spiders, jungles and wolves. Influenced by everyone from The Velvet Underground and Siouxie Sue the Banshees to Pink Floyd, their shouty crash of post punk displays an intriguingly dark side as fantastical lyrics give way to rabble rousing battle chants. What Vulkano offer lies somewhere between psychedelic and punk as creative lines blur in a mirage of twee wolf howls and brutal DIY production.
As album titles go, ‘Live Wild Die Free’ is pretty unambiguous. It’s also pretty cliched. Pair it with a band name that is essentially a metaphor for “hey look we’re crazy and might explode with punk any moment right now” and the result is a combination that risks being speedily consigned to the bargain bin. Which would be a shame for such an eminently listenable album.Building on experience the Swedish duo accrued in their former incarnation as members of Those Dancing Days, the tracks are largely a collection of proficient post-punk songs with clear pop ambitions.