Something happened to The Second Band. They admit as much when they say on their homepage that “There has been some major changes in the band. Some has left and one is all new. We’re currently not sure exactly how many persons this band exists…”. Prior to this new record the band received some amount of good press, near fame with a song placement on Grey’s Anatomy and significant blog buzz. I think all of that may have pushed the band in a slightly new direction. The songs I’ve heard (below) are more challenging, less likable and at times nearly discordant.
That’s not to say there isn’t much to love. At one time I questioned whether The Second Band wasn’t the greatest Sweden had to offer. Hearing these two songs off of the upcoming lp the definite form and sensing a new, more serious, direction from the band makes that still a relevant question. On “The Funeral At Sea” the lead singer half moans/half screams at various times during the song; where before horns were used as a celebratory effect, here they are mournful or by the conclusion of the song they are down right dirge-like in effect. On “The Urgency of Now” the music is not as somber and is nearly uplifting, but now the lyrics have taken a turn for the worse with lines like “the cancer in my head still grows, doctors say that they don’t know why the pills I get aren’t making me well” and “I can’t seem to get my melody straight, it seems to worsen each time I play”. True, the song’s chorus of “I couldn’t get out of bed, to clean up my head, couldn’t get out of bed” is catchy, but it still conveys a sense of loss and despair bordering on depression.
No, this is not your run-of-the-mill Swedish indie pop. Yes, the band has changed and possibly for the better! More info here soon or at the band’s label – Orange Grammofon.