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coverpic flag Sweden - Full Moon 92 - 04/05/04

First Floor Power
Silence Records

Here's another Swedish band with C.H.A.R.M. tattooed all over'em. Nerves is their second album - a follow up to 2001's There Is Hope, which I haven't heard. My only 'contact' with First Floor Power (FFP) before Nerves came to my seedee player was when getting a glimpse of them on Swedish televison (the excellent music special Musikbyrån I think...?) a couple of years ago. Let's check if Nerves is a nervous breakdown.

FFP is a quartet: sisters Jenny (vocals, guitar, synth, piano) and Sara Wilson (bass and backing vox), along with Karl Jonas Winqvist (vocals, piano, synth, wurlitzer, organ, etc) and Per Lager (drums and percussion). Jenny and Karl Jonas started FFP i 1997. They write all the songs and share the vocal duties. Musically they're into something like mordern new wave, twisted cabaret-indie-pop, or arty (not farty!) pop/rock. Imagine the B52's teaming up with the Go-Betweens and the New Pornographers. They're also in a way musically related to bob hund (or bob hunds's alter ego: Bergman Rock) - take f.i. "Eat the rich" or "How I lost my juvenile smile". There's even another link to bob hund: both Nerves as well as its predecessor was produced by bob hund-man Jonas Jonasson (and: bob hund-singer Tomas Öberg co-produced their 2000 CD EP We Are The People).

As I said charm is the keyword for FFP's music. And lyrics. Their songs tell small short-stories which for sure let you into a good mood. FFP make me smile, and leaves me quite happy, even though there are some bittersweetness and sadness inbetween. As an example presenting FFP's small and peculiar tales of poetry let me quote the lyrics for opening track "Blanket Sky":
"Good trade for you, wasn't it? Wasn't it?
A real bargain, wasn't it?
You got my last money and I got a kick in the head. You left me there lying in the grass, as if it was my bed. Then you ran away, thought I was dead. You thought I was dead. I remember lying there...
- What was I?
- Staring! Staring! Staring! Staring!
I was staring at the sky, at the sky, thinking: Well, if the grass is my bed then the sky is my blanket."

This "Blanket Sky" is one of the highlights, along with the happier, merrier, quicker "Happy Endings", and the two tracks mentioned in connection with bob hund. "Uprising" makes me - for a sec - think of Jarvis and his Pulp, lyrically as well as musically. Then there's the desperate and frantic "Hanging outside my window, looking down". But the real master-piece of the album is the epic "Sunny Day Revisited" - a waltzing, merry-go-round-ish, a 8-minute-long gliding beauty. Again I'd like to render the lyrics:
"It's a sunny day and we're stying under the burning sun, feel no pain. Birdskies, firelawns and we're walking hand in hand the way we used to do. Eat our breakfast in bed, then staying up late. Who needs a sunny day anyway?
And I think that we probably could fly.
And I think that I will never ever cry again."

I'm charmed beyond nerves!

Distribution in Norway: Tuba!

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