Music Review: The Sounds, Crossing The Rubicon

GO reviews the Swedish sensation’s third album

The Swedish band The Sounds made their grand entrance into the music scene in 2002 with their first CD, Living In America, a platinum-album in their native land and an audio preview of their trademark riotous live shows, which have included appearances on the Warped Tour and a gig as opening-act for The Strokes.

Fronted by feisty bisexual Maja Ivarsson and featuring the musical talents of bassist Johan Bengsston, guitarist Felix Rodriguez, keyboardist Jesper Anderberg, and drummer Fredrik Nilsson, the band has once again laid down fierce lyrics over electrifying beats to create their third, and newest, album, Crossing The Rubicon. It has been available Stateside since its release on June 2.

With incredible vocals and a unique punk and synthpop sound, The Sounds have since the beginning separated themselves from other bands today. After two LPs, they decided to take a chance on their music and broke their worldwide record deal, in an effort to fully express their artistry. Since taking complete control of their music, The Sounds have evolved musically, giving their tunes a more expert and open sound, and writing more developed lyrics and contagious hooks for Ivarsson to belt out at the adoring fans.

Crossing The Rubicon continues to rely on synthesizers and a plethora of instruments, proving that The Sounds are staying true to their roots. But their style is not static. The beats are more intricate and the melodies upbeat, and there are moments filled purely with electrical sounds. Ivarsson’s vocals are strong and perfectly suited for the band’s lively music, giving them a sound similar to acts such as Blondie and the Missing Persons. The lyrics on Crossing The Rubicon are contagious both because of their creativity, and because of that “aha!” factor—the feeling that you can relate.

Overall, with its strong, punk-inspired vocals and elaborate sounds, this album is an electrifying summer release, and a great follow-up to their wildly successful debut, and sophomore, releases. And their new single, No One Sleeps When I’m Awake, is an homage to their past as a band. With lyrics such as “You know it hurt so bad just like I knew that it would, but I’d do it again, do it again if I could,” the song describes their initial dreams and ultimate difficulties and disappointments, all of which, Ivarsson and Rodriguez told Stockhound TV, the band would willingly go through again if need be.

The Sounds are currently on the No Doubt Summer Tour 2009,for more information about the tour or the band go to

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