Peter, Bjorn and John - Seaside Rock

Album Review by Ewen Millar | 23 Oct 2008
  • Peter, Bjorn and John - Seaside Rock
Album title: Seaside Rock
Artist: Peter, Bjorn and John
Label: Wichita
Release date: 13 Oct

An undercurrent of nostalgia has always permeated the music of Swedish trio Peter, Bjorn and John. Their previous album Writer's Block (2006) positively revelled in it, wrapping their minimalist pop music in layers of reverb that aimed to promote rueful soul-searching and wistful navel-gazing. Their new album Seaside Rock builds on this by focusing less on glistening pop songs, and instead pushes in an instrumental direction that seems intent on capturing fleeting musical memories of childhood TV shows and John Carpenter movie scores. Coming across like The Go! Team trying to emulate Boards of Canada, Seaside Rock sees the trio flirting with spaghetti western themes (Inland Empire), primary-coloured Sesame Street riffs on steel drums (Say Something [Mukiya]), and flutes and panpipes (Erik's Fishing Trip). For the most part, it's all very pretty, although the extensive use of spoken word samples - in Swedish - does grate in places. If they’re deliberately trying to make background music they have succeeded admirably. [Ewen Millar]