Youghp

Cavanaugh: Far From Chicago

At the mention of the phrase music from Sweden, the odds are you'll sing in your head a line or two from Dancing Queen or, if your affinities lie at the opposite pole, make a mental list of your favorite death metal bands from that part of the world. Much as outsider impression of Swedish music is limited to the spirited disco pop of ABBA and the baneful loudness of the country's vibrant metal scene, a genre that's somewhere near the confluence into which these opposing musical streams flow is peeking out for some attention. Cavanaugh, a four-piece band from Borlnge, Dalarana, is among the proponents of this genre, which the group unabashedly calls mainstream rock. But even as we hear that from the band itself, a deeper look into its music reveals sensibilities that have recently been missing from the mainstream scene at large. The 2009 EP Far From Chicago, spirited as it is in a way heavy, is without most of the unneccessary trappings.

The Diamond Light: Krotona

In a scene dominated by the cheery and contrived, the gritty and bare-bones rarely stand a chance. Sure, The White Stripes and The Strokes made it, but their presence is hugely rendered anomalous by the prevailing forces. That's why it's a delight and a respite to stumble upon something as authentic as The Diamond Light. In 2009 this Los Angeles-based soul-rock-blues band, as the members categorize it, released Krotona, an eight-track EP that is a testament to how good and satisfying music gets when you keep it raw and real.

Pollux: Rspct

The album Rspct opens up with a track that's proper for its role: Rspct Intro features a thin but layered drone shifting from this direction to that until it renders itself redolent of aircraft sounds, or of spacecraft ones (it depends on your imagination, really) and, consequently, creates the illusion of one taking flight, perhaps toward Pollux not the artist behind the album, but the brightest star in the constellation of Gemini, from which the musician presumably took his moniker.

Graffiti Mechanism: Fueled by Emotion

Proc-Records founder and curator Adam Crammond, a k a, Graffiti Mechanism, picked or conceptualized, whichever the case, a rather curious cover for his latest effort Fueled by Emotion. Archetypal digital illustrations and graphic images come to mind when the subject of electronica album art is brought up, so it only rightly elicits a slight shrug that this release features a low-definition, worm's-eye view photo (with mirror effect) of a tree ostensibly taken during a drought. But looks, as the discerning would know, can be deceiving: the seven solid tracks of the album, which was released by Happy Puppy Records, intuitively belie whatever pallidness the cover may come off as having.