The Sugarcubes, apparently, started out as a punk band. This was way before Björk became a venture capitalist. What does this have to do with Stockholm, Sweden’s Hanna Hirsch? Hanna Hirsch is bridled to a similar undeniable pop sensibility—like a river of silver—pulsing in the heartbeat of these undeniably contemporary punk songs. The recording sounds icy; shatteringly icy, like it was done in a vacuum, in space. It’s that infinity that gives the entire record a stretched-out, palpable desperation. Bladerunner android vocals, stainless steel-sounding synthesizers, organic, thudding drums, and glistening, serrated, barbed-wire-of-the-future guitars crash and crunch together. Even when they slow down and get quiet, it’s tense and pretty as all hell. Excellent. Well worth a long hunt.
–todd (Diskret Förlag, www.diskretforlag.com)