The legendary band Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks turns 30 and Fanfar! is marking the occasion by releasing an elaborate collection of the band’s own favourites.
Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks was formed in Solna in November 1992 by the band’s eternal frontman Robert Johnson. Right from the start they put the pedal to the metal and the band’s signature style was equal parts Link Wray, Ennio Morricone, and rascally attitude.
Soon enough, they were a respected name in unabashed instrumental rock, both at home in Sweden and internationally. The breakthrough came with the album Fried on the Altar of Good Taste (2000) and the following year they were commissioned to score Fredrik Lindström’s comedy Känd från TV.
But soon enough – and typically for the band – they went against expectations and challenged their own audience by reincarnating as a synth duo. Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks have always gone their own way and they have done things with high quality after their own heart. 2017 saw the release of their latest original album – the acclaimed soundtrack (to a film that never made it to cinemas) Morte di Seeburg (also on Fanfar!).
Just in time for the 30th anniversary, we release Solna, Texas 1992-2022 – a limited edition vinyl compilation album. The lavish effort features Conny Nimmersjö of bob hund and KC BABY as executive producer. Conny has dug up the best master tapes possible from the archives and made sure the songs were remastered in the best possible way. A high quality product that we are very proud of.
Now we’re releasing another fantastic album with American indie rock legends The Mommyheads. On “Genius Killer”, the group continues to reinvent themselves.
Genius Killer is The Mommyheads’ new album, the eighth since their unexpected reunion in 2008.
Genius Killer is a very fresh sounding and inventive album with amazing attention to detail and unusually varied arrangements and instrumentation. The Mommyheads have raised an already high bar and this may be their definite work. Truly progressive, yet with the sense of melody completely intact.
Here’s a little something about each and every one of the tracks on Genius Killer.
Amazing intro, followed by a smooth George Harrison/Beatles vibe, when the actual song starts (especially the guitar melody). Lovely ELO-like backing vocals in the chorus. The lyrics are very present and make you re-evaluate your life. ”…things to do that have lasting value”. We thought this would be the album’s pièce de résistance until we realized that the entire album is full of highlights.
We like the somewhat chaotic arrangement and playing. Lots of stuff going on. The break with the synth arpeggios…. mmmm… The progster in you comes alive. Harmonically, it feels more like a ”typical” Mommyheads track, with all the great features that the Mommyhead-heads have come to know and love.
She’s a Fighter
We love the fact that the lead vocals are sung in two octaves simultaneously. Interesting time signature change! It reminds you of some Neil Young song. Love the organ that appears around three minutes in.
We Almost Lost It All
…offers some breathing space after a couple of busy, dense songs. Reflective. A happy/sad song. Reminds us of The Band at their peak, in part because of the laid back groove, Richard Manuel-like falsetto singing and tasty combination of organ and piano. Very vintage sounding song with lots of earthy, acoustic sounds.
Distill Your Love Into That Dying Light
Funky stuff. 70’s vibe and sounds. Kinda reminds us of Superstition by Stevie Wonder. Love the title: great advice. The lyrics read like a dystopian, yet hopeful, science fiction novel to us. And that bass guitar sounds thick and evil.
Feels like it could have been a Todd Rundgren song (back when his albums were still relevant). Interesting lyrics. We all know people who fit the description perfectly. Some lines make you think of the band’s own Michael Holt. Coincidence?
Another groovy thing. Love the tempo. ”Quirky power pop” in the best sense of all three words. Got a Todd Rundgren vibe from this one, too. Is that Jackie Simons singing parts of the song, along with Adam Elk?
More breathing space for the listener. Probably needed. There’s already lots of musical information to take in. This feels like a more ”normal” The Mommyheads song, driven by the lead vocals and the thoughtful, poetic lyrics. We get an old school soul vibe from this one, albeit with pop harmonies. Some craziness during the end, though. Almost feels like T. Rex.
One And The Same
Love the acoustic guitar figure during the verse. This one also feels like a more typical The Mommyheads song. Which is like reconnecting with an old friend.
First Five Seconds
This one made us laugh out loud. Prog intro deluxe! And what follows does not disappoint. This makes the fact that King Crimson have stopped touring a tad less disappointing. (The riff is a bit like a King Crimson guitar figure played on organ instead). The lyrics suggest disappointment. “Was it all worth it?” If you ask us, the answer is ”yes”. And we’re not talking about the band. It was probably a smart move to not open the album with this one, but it’s a perfect ending: it leaves you fully satisfied, yet knowing you’ll soon be back for more.
Congratulations, The Mommyheads, on a magnificent album.