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Psychopunch - 'Smakk Valley' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/94/1b/86/Psychopunch-smakk-Valley-60-1372433180.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     June 28, 2013    
 
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If you like short, sharp three chord punk ‘n' roll, you should get quite a bit of fun out of ‘Smakk Valley'.

Psychopunch are described as ‘Great and honest, no bullshit', and this pretty much sums up the Swedish band of punk ‘n' rollers, still going strong with this, their tenth album. You want breakneck energy? You don't want to be confused with too many chords? You want catchy tunes? Well, my friend, you might just enjoy Psychopunch.

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The most immediate thing about ‘Smakk Valley' is the sheer pace of the music, as ‘Back Of My Car' hurtles along to fill just over two minutes with a wall of guitar, bass and drums. This is music as played by The Ramones, The Misfits and at times The Wildhearts. Thankfully, the whole album isn't as fast as the opening track, and later tracks are allowed a bit more space to breathe, with the band even cracking the four minute mark a few times. The main problem here is that it all becomes a bit samey after a while, and it's hard to be engaged for the full album. This said, there really are some fine melodies on show throughout, and vocalist JM has a rough edged punk voice that suits the music. Songs like ‘Smakk Valley Train', ‘Emelie' and ‘All I Wanna Say', amongst others, will delight for their short duration, and I can imagine the live shows being a raucous celebration of sweat and energy.

In the end, if you like short, sharp three chord punk ‘n' roll, you should get quite a bit of fun out of ‘Smakk Valley'. It's got a real energy about it that can be infectious, and there is nothing wasted anywhere. So while it's a pretty simplistic album, really, it is simplistic in the best possible way.

Alan Holloway

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