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The Haunted 

One Kill Wonder (Earache)

To get an idea of what the latest from Swedish thrashards the Haunted sounds like, think about AC/DC. Remember how they used to put the fear of God into televangelists? And how, when you listened to them, you could see where the televangelists were coming from: how there was something sweet and seductive and real dirty in the way AC/DC sucked you in with their basic blues progressions, layered over relentless snare-crash and cymbals? Right.

Speed all that up just enough to shake the frat boys off the back of the truck, and you've got the Haunted. Each song here has about 10 riffs, 3 twin-guitar solos, 30 gallons of pedal distortion, and one hell of a lot of screaming. It's fantastic rock and roll, and it's just abrasive enough to keep the record-buying public at bay -- which is OK, too, because we're tired of settling for the lowest-common-denominator gunk that the Big Three keep throwing at us, and we'd much rather listen to music that sounds like prime Thin Lizzy being attacked by some psycho with a lawn mower somewhere just north of Gothenburg. Wouldn't we?

More by John Darnielle

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