If you recall the bands that emerged in the mid-90's, the only band to hail from Sweden was Ace of Base, a pop-techno group. That was until Blindside (out of Stockholm, Sweden) got a record deal with Seattle, Washington-based Tooth and Nail Records. This band's style of what was deemed Swedish-hardcore would become a permanent staple in the world of hardcore music.
Their first label album, self-titled, may not have caught on right away, but is definitely worth giving a listen to. First off, their lyrics are pure poetry, with lines like "eye for an eye, some things are hard to say goodbye to, and you" in their song "Invert" and "Tensed, but still so calm, alright, leaning on Your arms, beautiful Spirit, walk with me, Holy Spirit, talk to me" on "Nerve." Ok, so maybe it isn't pure poetry, but with a band this good, why be picky on the lyrical content?
A highlight on the album is the track "One Mind," where the band somewhat expresses the meaning behind their name, while "Superman," another dynamic track, focuses on the issue of human frailty and explains how vulnerable our own souls are to the problems of this world. Songs that pack raw energy are tracks such as "Daughter," "Teddy Bear," and (if you are one of the fortunate ones to have a copy of the Sweden release of the album) "Sidewinder." The last track mentioned can also be heard on the Tooth and Nail 4th Anniversary Box Set for those who are anxious to hear the song.
Although it wasn't yet the launching pad for thier crossover into mainstream (the one setback of the album), Blindside's self-titled debut would set the tone for what was to expect from future Swedish bands in the coming years. For those who didn't become fans until 2002's Silence, don't hesitate to check out their aggressive self-titled Tooth and Nail debut.- Review date: 8/6/03, written by Paul Portell
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