Swedish psych rockers the Soundtrack of our Lives deliver their fifth studio album, and it's no understated affair, with 24 songs spanning two discs. On Communion, the sextet's soundtrack is the late ’60s, without sounding "retro." It's a wall of sound surrounding Beatles-esque melodies with flashes of aggression that recall the Who's smashing stage show.
Disc one opens with "Babel on" and a bass throb that builds into a foot-stomping anthem. "RA 88" fuses jungle drums and punk guitars, while Ebbot Lundberg's vocals are double tracked. The haunting melancholia of "Second Life Replay" manages to make a song with the opening line of "I killed myself today" sound sadly beautiful. And there's a stunning cover of the Nick Drake track "Fly," wrapped in a chorus of psychedelic guitars and trumpet. Another standout track, "The Ego Delusion," stars a guitar riff that must have come from a snake charmer.
The versatility of T.S.O.O.L. is one of the reasons they're so enduring. From in your face rock 'n' roll, to swirling psychedelic dreamscapes from another dimension, to heartfelt ballads, they're only predictability is their artistry. And 24 tracks without filler is a testament to their integrity.
Album title: Communion (2009)
Artist: the Soundtrack of Our Lives
Label: Yep Roc Records
Songs: 24 of ’em