Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag Sweden - Full Moon 37 - 10/24/99

Unlikely Heroes
Telegram Records

There's always something nice to come out of Sweden, right? Over the last year few years a line of Swedish bands of quality pop/rock has been quite successful internationally: The Cardigans, Kent, Wannadies, Popsicle, and bob hund to name but a few. Here's a new Stockholm combo pushing their debut album, presenting music from the darkness of a cinema projection booth. Unlikely Heroes is the sound of moving images beaming through the darkness of the theater.

The core of Ingy is vocalist Ingela Klemetz, and multi-multi-instrumentalist Matti Bye; piano, synth, pump organ, farfisa organ, wurlitzer, mellotron, guitars, glockenspiel, ... (the list is long!), plus Gunnar Nordé n (who's also the producer, on bass, guitars, drums), and Michael Blair (on percussion, drums, and vibraphone). There's also some other musicians contributing various strings (cello, violin, harp), as well as theremin on one track. Ingy isn't aiming for the top of the charts, with their somewhat introspective soundscapes and gloomy lyrics. I guess they're more happy wandering the shady valleys and back alleys between the peaks of "glory." They present a fascinating sound, like a soundtrack for the freak shows of the world, making a heartfelt tribute to the beautiful ugliness and the inner strength and power of unlikely heroes like, say, La Bête, Quasimodo, or the Phantom of The Opera.

Already as song one, Horror Film, swirls out, you feel the presence of the celluloid anti-heroes, the monsters that disgust and scare most of us. Musically Ingy is somewhat a border-case between The Velvet Underground, Mazzy Star, Catatonia, and the Sugarcubes, to name-drop a few. But most of all they're themselves, doing what could be called Ingy-pop. The voice of Ingela is somehow peculiar, you'd either love it or hate it. She sings in a dramatic, but indeed charismatic way, and she's also written all the lyrics. All songs are written by Matti and Ingela (except for one, co-written with Nordé n). The strength of Unlikely Heroes is a number of good songs, plus a very delicate way of arranging them, with brilliant instrumentation, putting up the perfect settings for the mood of the cinema-cabaret music show. The album's got a lot of highlights, such as the beautiful Words - a quiet pop-song that grows and grows, and the title track, with the refrain going: "Unlikely heroes, heroes of the screen." The drugged, angst-ridden Dirt is maybe my ultimate fave track, with some brilliant lines from the pump organ, plus of course the ballad of desire, called Desire. Not to forget the record's quietest moment, the powerful Barkboat. Ingy is here to stay for sure, as they're singing in the last track, Stay. The album's got 13 songs (and I don't like all of them, of course, but that's another story), plus a secret track in the end, being the most witch-crafted (and a bit Tom Waits-y) of them all. The quality level is high, with tension and motion, and I just want to congratulate with a very fine debut!

Finally: Keep an eye one the MTV side-shows for an Ingy video to appear soon.

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