Swedish duo THE GUILT has been a going concern since 2011, and have a number of live performances under their belt already, with more to come this year I understand. The self-titled album “The Guilt” was released in the spring of 2017 through Heptown Records, and is the band’s full length debut album.
Just where to begin to describe their music is a demanding task. This is music you can dance to, your feet will tap along to the rhythms, and they have a good ear for playing catchy music, and probably even radio friendly at that. It is also music that have taken quite a few cues from punk.
This isn’t a band that can be compared to Sex Pistols however, nor to any of the pop punk bands of the 90’s as such. Traces and details from both generations of punk music is present here, but the general vibe I got from this album was that a somewhat similar band might be Garbage, at least in terms of creating catchy rock music with a modern sound. The Guilt does have a few more punk vibes as ongoing features though, and on the opening cut Cunty Mess I rather thought there were some traces of White Stripes as well in terms of approach. The Guilt use a lot of electronics to create their music as well, some songs being purebred electropunk fare, and fans of bands as different as Kraftwerk and Nine Inch Nails may well encounter familiar sounding details here and there as well. As will fans of synth pop from the 90’s I’ll imagine.
The songs here are all short, intense and with good drive, and a lot of the drive and tension comes down to the lead vocals of Emma, a versatile singer able to belt it out as well as providing aggressive raspy shouts, but also with a repertoire for more careful and melody oriented modes of delivery when needed. That the songs are kept short and sweet also ensure that they do not lose staying power, music of this nature tends to come across best in a compressed format.
While not directly comparable as such, I’d wager a bet that many who enjoyed Garbage in their heyday will be charmed by the music of The Guilt as well. Especially those among their fans who also enjoy their fair share of punk, post-punk and 90’s synth pop. They have made a invigorating, positive and inspiring album, one you can dance along to and safely put up as the soundtrack for a party.
My rating: 84/100
Cunty Mess, Hate Hate Hate, I Don’t Care, I Just Know It, Bad Things l, Anomalys, It’s Not Me It’s You, When The Honey Comes, Give It, Ovaries