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Review: 'Swedish Death Candy and Japanese Television'
'Live at The Lexington Islington'   

-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '10.11.18.'

Our Rating:
This gig sounded like the name of an anime video Swedish Death Candy v Japanese Television with all sorts of mad Swedish sweets battling it out against the monster Televisions in a battle you'll never forget of course the gig was a bit less crazy than that idea.

Of course Japanese Television aren't from Japan and Swedish Death Candy are from Cardiff obviously. They are in the current vogue for having Swedish in the band name along with Swedish Finnish and Swedish House Mafia etc it's becoming a niche genre in itself, this is the last date on the bands current European tour that of course didn't go to Sweden.

So first on were Japanese Television a four piece instrumental rock band with a distinctly Raga rock feel to them as they often reminded me of Echo & the Bunnymen circa the Killing Moon that was apparent from the opening number Uncle Doovy that had a great guitar riff that Tim built and built While Ian did all sorts of things on what from where I was standing looked like a pedal steel and multiple gadgets and pedals set up on a table that he got all sorts of interesting sounds out of.

Crocodile Dentist had another raga like swirling riff with Alex's bass sounding urgent and forceful as the music built like they getting ready to give that crocodile a root treatment without an anaesthetic with Al's drums sounding like they were trying to hammer away at the enamel while never failing to keep a massive groove going to dance along too.

Ian apologised before they played Surfing Saucers that he joined the band after this song was played live for the first time, but to new listeners like me that didn't matter as it was another sort of soundtrack to some weird Japanese sci-fi programme comes on to transport us in the band's own spaceship to a land of surfing Saucer rock.

I think Country Joe was the one song that didn't have that Raga feel to it being a little bit more down home in the way the guitar interacted with the bass while all the drums anchored us down nicely as the table top gadgets were in full effect to mesmerise us with the different tones and textures to create another vision.

Tick Tock they were getting near the end and the raga had to come at us like a metronome on speed as that guitar twisted and turned and pushed a great bass heavy groove at us. Before everything took a dark turn on Bruno's Nightmare that sounded like a Japanese Horror film as Bruno is about to be treated like he's in Audition rather than Ichi The Killer.

They closed with Lizard Moon another decidedly groove laden romp that would be just fine for a good fight scene on Japanese Television this is a band well worth catching, Oh and thanks to the bands PR guru for sending me the setlist before I left home for the gig!!

Next on were Swedish Death candy who all look like they had just eaten half a dozen bags of Bilar each and didn't know what to do with themselves other than go into a hyperactive frenzy and start bouncing off the walls with some slightly off centre and whacked out psyche rock.

As the Bass player really started to freak out on a song that had all the intensity of a couple of boxes of Lakerol Salted Liquorice while sounding a bit like one of the songs on either Kebnekaise I Or II whichever of those classic albums has actual songs on it only of course they are singing in English.

The song about clouds that felt like being pelted with Marshmallow was the only song with Keyboards built in intensity and the Guitar and bass player seemed to be trading solos and each trying to be more like Jack Black than the other one as the sold out crowd seemed to be really getting into it.

As the off kilter and out there rifferama built and dissipated it felt more and more like I had a plate of melting Plopp bars in front of me and the caramel from the bars I'd already been forced to consume was dripping down my face and I needed some Kopparberg to wash it down with.

The new song they played for the first time was another intense burst of Salted Liquorice flavoured schnapps psyche mayhem as they certainly Lived their Lives away which sounded like a dozen bags of Gott & Blandat come to life in a fruity acidic mess of distended guitar solos.

The band played a very cool version of new single A Date With Caligula that this night at Baba Yaga's hut was the launch show for. It was like eating a slice of Fika covered in Bilar and Swedish Fish yet tasting like Pepparkakor nice and spicy.

I think they introduced I Love You Already and dedicated it to all of us for showing up to see them before they descended into a miasma of fried psych like someone has dosed the Kex wafers with Ketamine.

They closed with So Long that was an episodic tribute to all the Swedish candy they could think of and I think I've about run out of others to compare them too so go buy a few bags of Bilar and some Pepparkakor and then listen to Swedish Death Candy as trying them straight probably won't work.

They got a good cheer at the end but no one clapped for an encore and for me on the night Japanese Television got the best of the Swedish Death Candy but it was a close run thing and they may need a re-match soon.
  author: simonovitch

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