Sweden’s best new import hits Boston

A review of the Shout Out Louds at the Paradise Rock Club on October 24, 2007

, Staff

Hailing all the way from Stockholm, Sweden, the Shout Out Louds arrived at Boston\’s Paradise Rock Club on Wednesday night to a responsive crowd. The up-and coming indie/emo rockers delivered their brand of& tunes filled with melancholy and sweetness songs with a bon vivant attitude that left the crowd smiling.

Smoothly dipping into the first song, “Time Left for Love” after a soft instrumental opening, the Shout Out Louds opened the show with the first of multiple tunes off their newly released, Our Ill Wills. The album is a pop-rock mix of songs that channel vibes of The Smiths and The Cure, most especially Adam Olenius’s Robert Smith-like vocals. Wedfnesday\’s show also drew from material off the band’s debut album Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, including crowd favorite, “The Comeback” which boasted an industrial-like rock beat before morphing into the chorus’ poppy keyboard and accordion mix.

After exchanging short, almost painfully shy pleasantries with the audience, the band went into their ode to friendship, “Oh Sweetheart” followed by the almost-calypso sounding “Impossible.” Each song had that bittersweet, hopeless lilt but not enough to be classified as emo. The band kicked up each song with bouncy, danceable sections that they and the crowd move gaily to. And not just the shifting from one foot to the other sort of dancing- shoulders and arms got involved too. Then they calmed back down in time for the next verse only to kick back up to the next shimmy-inducing tambourine and maraca break.

The sheer volume of the show almost overshadowed the bittersweet songs. The gusto with which the band ripped into songs like, “Shut Your Eyes,” and the mournful to empowered ditty, “Parents Livingroom,” made everything sound forceful. Even the softer, keyboard heavy tunes like “Suit Yourself” sounded confident and decisive. Yes they will play songs with melancholy, but by God they will do it loud.&

“Please, Please, Please” showed how much the band could emulate The Cure (minus their slight Swedish accents) with a depressing plea that was again backed up by a contrasting, almost upbeat guitar solo. However, the band was tongue-in-cheek about their material especially with their introduction of a new song, “I Wish I Was Dead, Part 1.” They went on to say there was no Part Two, but they might make one up. In Swedish.

Joining Olenius on backing vocals were guitarist Carl von Arbin and bassist Ted Malmros. All three moved in unison, swaying side to side and singing together, reminiscent of old groups of the 50’s. Keyboardist Bebban Stenborg and drummer Eric Edman formed a group of their own in the background but the heavy rhythmic drumming and the addition of the cowbell made their presence clear. Especially when Stenborg stepped forward to sing “Blue Headlight.”& That cowbell is a stroke of originality genius. It adds an almost silly giddiness that contrasts nicely with the usually dour mood of the songs

By the end of the show the fans in the tightest, most movement-restrictive jeans even found the flexibility to bounce on the balls of their feet. After an encore of “Hard Rain” and the disco-ball twirling/prom-ballad “Meat is Murder,” the band segued into an upbeat cover of The Clash’s “Train In Vain” in the midst of the piano rock of “Tonight I Have To Leave It.” With their ever-present courtesy, the Shout Out Louds bid thank you and a good evening to an enthusiastic Boston crowd.

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