Dungen | 4

Kemado (2008)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  September 23, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
dungenINSIDE.jpg
Back in 2004, Ta det lugnt (“Take it easy”) was a discovery to many in the English-speaking world. We expect Sweden to crank out indie-rock groups with competent skills, excellent production, and easily identifiable Western influences — so what to make of this bizarre psychedelic rock band who veer between smooth-jazzy grooves and acid-tongued guitar scuzz, with odd folky interludes, and all in Svenska? Last year’s Tio bitar saw them tip their hand to their harsh and garagy side, but 4 might be their most schizoid outing yet: “Det tar tid” sounds like Santana sitting in on a Steely Dan session, and “Samtidigt 1” comes blasting out of the gates like the midsection of a lengthy and particularly violent Hendrix jam. Dungen is the project of guitarist Gustav Ejstes, and here he continues to push his songwriting into strange corners: “Finns det någon möjlighet” (“Is there any possibility”) takes a jaunty piano-led Joe Jackson–sounding ditty and, midway through, turns it into a jarring “Spirit in the Sky”–esque jam. The playing is looser and rougher than you might expect, with tons of endless drum fills that teeter on the verge of sloppy, but this only adds to Dungen’s trademark unpredictability — Ejstes seems more concerned with texture and feel than with hooks. Translation: it all sounds better once you’re stoned.
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