In April 2015, Scandinavia once again retreated to the Kent countryside to begin recording their fourth studio album. Last month, after more than a year in the works, a group of elite listeners were treated to a sneak peek of World Power.
One of them was Scandinavian super-fan Johnny ‘Petri-Dish’ Reid. Johnny’s not shy; his opinions grow like cultures on an agar plate. But in the round World Power wins out. Here is his review in full.
1/2. DEAD AIR / IDEOLOGY
I have listened to this one a lot of times – a lot more than any other song on the record. It is either because I like it a lot or because it is the first song on the record. I think it is the right track to start the album. I'm confused though: Are Scandinavia pro- or anti- Jihad? It is a brilliant pop song. I like the tempo and the samples, especially the Jihad one.
I really, really like this too. It has some great melodic twists. It kind of reminds me of Maximo Park if they were from London. Or Hong Kong. Or wherever you are from. There used to be a band from Belfast called Strawman who were absolutely bollocks.
4. LEISURE RULES
By the time this comes in the album is hitting its stride. Cherry sweet wine! Great horns. Nice vocal harmonies. Could probably do with more horns.
5. SAN PELLEGRINO III
I really like this song, much like I love San Pellegrino Limonata (and the grapefruit one). When I moved to the south of Italy I was so disappointed that they didn't actually have these anywhere.
Apparently in the warehouses of loads of supermarkets they have rats that run along the tops of cans, but with the silver foil on the top of the San Pellegrino 'foil range' you can be sure you are not going to get Weil's disease. In Italy they just have this shitty orange one that tastes a bit like Orangina.
Whilst the re-recording of this I think sounds better than the version on The Gods, I personally would rather have a re-recording of ‘Non-Descript American Accents’ on it if you are going to dig up tunes from the past; or just an album with 12 different versions of ‘Non-Descript American Accents’.
6. INTELLIGENT HIP HOP
I think this may be my favourite track on the album. I really like the relaxed vibe of it. White guys CAN rap. More horns. Great melodies. Clearly a lot of work went into this track and it works well.
7. CHANDLER HYMN
8. CHANDLER BING
Another great pop song. It reminds me of Sugar, I think. And I love Sugar. The guitar playing is nice.
9. SLIGHTLY GERMANIC
The intro and start reminds me of an eighties song I don't like. I can't think of it right now, but it puts me off the whole thing. It's OK, but I would probably skip it when listening to the whole album. It gets better towards the end.
It's obviously quite different to the rest of the album. It sounds like New Order but not as good. The melody with the keyboard is good but instead of going down it would sound better going up. Much like my own sex life.
11. TRUE CRIME
This song has some great twists. I really like it when it turns a little bit dark but the melody kicks off at the same time. Mim's singing makes this track.
12. OUR LAST SONG
Finishing the album on a high. I hope this is not actually the last Scandinavia song. I think the drums drive this one really well. It has a really nice breezy summer sound. You could imagine sitting at the beach at Santa Monica with this cranked up. I have never seen The Guns of Navarone, but I am certain it is shit.
I think you have done an amazing job on this record. Whilst I enjoyed some tracks on Big Noise, on the whole I didn't think it was as good as the first two records. I know that there was a change of personnel between these records and I hope I don't offend anyone, however, I really think you have made a more consistent record than any of the previous ones. The production is great and clearly a lot of hard work went into the whole thing.
Proof of Johnny's super-fan status
Whilst it may be more consistent, my two favourite Scandinavia tracks are ‘Non-Descript American Accents’ (from Good Living) and ‘I Don't Do Drugs’ (from The Gods), and I am still waiting for a song that blows me away as much as hearing both those tracks did the first time around.
Every time that Scandinavia have played a show, it hasn't worked for me, but I saw you are going to play a few shows for this album, so I am absolutely certain I will make at least one of them!
Good luck and thank you!