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Citizen Bird 

Citizen Bird (Stinky)

Not long ago, Swedish pop's insinuation into American rock hearts seemingly ended with Britney's songwriting sugar daddy Max Martin. No more -- a minor Swedish invasion's afoot, and kiddy music has little to do with it. Soundtrack of Our Lives' rock classicism finally got 'em domestic distribution, International Noise Conspiracy's propulsive chaos won the collective heart of the Stooges fan club, and the Hives' mix of garage-rock mess and pop theatrics has ended up on Reprise. Scandinavia's foothold on these Soundscan-sponsored shores has been established. It's a momentum that Citizen Bird should also benefit from, but one it stylistically stands somewhat outside of.

The quintet's debut may bear the Swedish mark of jumbling rock history into a personally programmed sound, but Citizen Bird's tweaking of that formula easily out-weirds its countrymen. Wickedly delicious drones and rhythm pulses courtesy of the Stereolab/Krautrock academy, fuzz-tinged guitars borrowed from Sonic Youth or Spaceman 3, and Simon Ohlsson's Morrisonesque poet posturing are more gratuitously arty. Songs like "Joy" and "Magnetic City" start at the mountaintop and sprint downhill toward a listener's open arms, packing a wallop. It's a musical snapshot that's likely to linger after most other Swedish exports have been deported.

More by Piotr Orlov

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