Scandinavian music usually falls into one of two camps – happy clappy pop a la Abba, or dark death metal, like…well I don’t know, I tend to avoid it. I blame it on the weather. With twenty four hour bright skies or dark nights, it is no doubt hard to find middle ground. Swedish Beastmilk inhabit that space, but not middle ground as in beige and boring, but middle ground as in the post punk, gravelly greatness, rhythmically exciting musical space that most people enjoy.
Beastmilk’s debut album Climax is equally exhilarating and heart-breaking, combining stark vocals with darkly shimmering melodies, and a throbbing pulse underneath the atmospheric shadowy gleam. Anxious and unsettling, but also animated and thrilling, first track Love in a Cold World is a great intro, from its flickering start, poppy melodies and flexing muscular riffage. It’s the sound of earnest frustration, slightly muted but with echoes of a violent siege within. Blinking into existence before it erupts into thrashing heady moments, Love in a Cold World is expansive and engaging, noisy and catchy, dark and light – beautifully middle ground.
Released on Svart Records on December 2nd.