SMALLTOWN: Implosion: CD

Razorcake #24’s cover band from Sweden are back with their second full-length. The instantly recognizable departure is the inclusion of more instruments: vibes, handclaps, horns, zigger fish, and accordion. Still in place are Kalle’s melancholic lyrics sung in a smoke-and-exhaustion voice, clean but toothy musicianship, and the overwhelming evidence that these are some down dudes making the music they want to without trapping themselves in previously made boxes. The extra textures aren’t bothering me in the slightest. I celebrate Give ‘Em Enough Rope and London Calling equally. And we’re not talking a huge leap, as, say, from The Jam to the Style Council. Although, technically, I may be wrong since I’m no musician, Implosion is ensnared at mid-pace from the first song to the last. It never explodes—and there a couple of gangbuster opportunities in this album. It never jumps, shouts, skitters and wails, and it never goes completely quiet. So, although I can appreciate the care that went into the songs—like the details on miniature plastic models—I just don’t feel that buzzing impact of The Music or their early 7”s. This record is definitely well made, but as much as it pains me to say, Implosion bores me. I tried. And twenty-five listens in, it’s not taking hold. Man, I feel like a dick.  –todd (Deranged)