Sune Studs och Grönlandsrockarna
Hardcore punk was invented in Sweden. Just kidding, it wasn’t. No, actually, it was.
Sune Studs och Grönlandsrockarna. Feelin’ it?
These four Swedes had something going on upstairs. It seems like Sune Studs och Grönlandsrockarna (SSG) were a bit conflicted. The id and ego and all that. We have here a prime example of what one might call the dialectical evolution of hardcore. “What’s that?” says you. Simple really. Four miscreants try to write some punk songs, but they can’t quite figure out how to play slow enough to make it good, so they play faster. Their brains say no, but their hands say yes. And what results is a mixed-up mess of lo-fi beauty. Hardcore avant la lettre.
Eight songs on a 7" was no laughing matter in Sweden in 1981. First up is their Pistolian, ‘77 singalong, “Du är bevakad.” It would not stand out much if it weren’t obvious the band couldn’t quite choose a tempo for the song. It starts slow, gets almost fast, then slows again, probably by accident. This is what makes most people hate punk rock, but it’s what makes me love it. Although most people have never heard this record. Shame really. Anyhoo, we get the real meatball with “Skolhets,” which is undeniably a hardcore song. It’s not as aggressive as the many Discharge-influenced bands that would soon emerge in Sweden, but “punk rock” is insufficient as a description for this music. (Though by 1983, SSG were totally leather, bristles, mullets, and acne, with lyrics about war, mushroom clouds and peace symbols in the artwork, etc.) The third song on the first side, “Utsatt,” is even faster than the previous one.
The second side of the record sounds like a live recording. It is quite lo-fi. They’re playing fast and the back-up vocals are out-of-tune. It’s great. The highlight of the live show is their reggae, “Slå dejsjälv.” This tune shows that they were still aligned with the class of ’79 rather than the class of ’82. And it is a dreadful bit of reggae. It’s dry and pretty much tuneless and meandering. It speeds up for a few seconds but then it’s back to the ill-advised guitar wanking. I love it. The side closes out with a slightly different version of the song that ended the first side, now called “Insatt.”
You know what else I love? The sleeve. It’s a classic. Just look at that. Is that a mustachioed gila monster? And what about the foot with a face and a mullet? These cats have Dali beat by a mile. My copy is two sheets of paper. The rear is glossy and printed, but the front is obviously an early photocopy. I presume this is how it was originally due to my source on this one, but I’d be interested to know if there are copies floating around with a printed front.
R.@.T., SSG’s label, released their second 7" in ‘83, and the band also appeared on V/A “Really Fast Vol. 1” LP. Their tedious antiwar-core is less interesting than the first record and doesn’t hold a candle to Shitlickers or Anti-Cimex, but there are still a few bits of out-of-tunefulness that bring a smile to this mug. Incidentally, the second release on their label was the infamously rare Nobby Tåfjutt Band 7". Anyone have one? I got a kidney to spare.
PS: No, I’m kidding.
PPS: No, I’m serious.