One of Sweden's better exports of the last few years, the Shout Out Louds have been looking to break into North America for a while, but have been getting little love from our mostly naval gazing mainstream music press. Signed to Capital Records around the time Arcade Fire turned all the majors onto any band that ever picked up a violin, they managed to get a tour spot with The Strokes, make an appearance on The WB's One Tree Hill, and were even featured in the art section of The New York Times way back in 2005 (notice I said "art section," and not "music" section). But have you heard of them? Well probably not, which is really a shame, as they make "that other popular Swedish band," (no, not The Cardigans, try again) sound like true indie half talents.
Of course any success the band finds with Our Ill Wills, ultimately rests upon your willingness to overlook the fact that singer, Adam Olenius, sounds suspiciously like The Cure's Robert Smith on Gravol (no doubt the harsh reality of a Swedish accent coupled with a natural lisp), but when you do, the dramatic payoff is worth it. Mixing west coast twee-pop exuberance with the earnestness of early Belle and Sebastian, Our Ill Wills plays out like a 40 minute drink-n'-dial (always a bad idea by the way), full of ramblings about half remembered events and spurts of ill timed anger. "Say what you want to / I am listening/ I am all ears/ If you still believe I'm thinking of you you're dreaming" sings Olenius on "You are Dreaming" one of the album's standout tracks. And even though 13 songs full of lovelorn crooning might get a bit much, it's at least better than the inevitable regret of a drink-n-dial of your own. Hell, you might even find yourself looking to the expertise of Our Ill Wills one day for guidance.
Review by: Chris Webster
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"Tonight I Have To Leave It"