Vulkano – Live Wild Die Free
This Swedish duo’s overdriven garage-pop sounds something like a more cutesy, melodic take on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ sound, its relentless energy channelled through pounding percussion, sharp guitar hooks and organ arpeggios. Cissi Efraimson’s vocals veer drunkenly between breathy whispers, gasps and yelps, and the lyrics range across sci-fi, mythology and the paranormal; on infectious closer Wizard of Odd, she insists that "aliens from outer space" are "all around us... eating your hate."
Vulkano’s trick – an effective one – is generally to blend these elements within riff-driven songs at a frantic tempo (Choir of Wolves, 2 Young 2 Die); on slower pieces like Trolls, the sparseness of the arrangements can feel like a limitation, rather than a conscious decision to streamline their sound. In terms of its sonic palette, there’s nothing particularly fresh about Live Wild Die Free, but its idiosyncratic themes save it from generic blandness.