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The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Origin Vol. 1
Universal

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Being Swedish must make it kind of hard to be bombastic; to swagger threateningly like some Mancunian street urchin. After all, even if you smack somebody, the state's just gonna fix 'em up again. But as a mainstream focal point for the exploding Scandinavian psych-mod punk scene, The Soundtrack of Our Lives has been reared well by 10 years of touring -- from little Gothenburg clubs to the stadiums Soundtrack fans Oasis took them to.

 

 

Now, on the band's second U.S. release, T.S.O.O.L. has made the album that their Gallagher mentors dream of. Replace Lennon/McCartney's refined pop ethos with Pete Townsend's anarchic wail as primary source, and T.S.O.O.L. is the new Oasis -- all the identity-crisis mod tension ("Headed for a Breakdown") and psych swirl ("Midnight Children") matched with the ability to rawk a Cleveland arena ("Transcendental Suicide").

 

Origin is cheesy, laughably bold, and damningly proud of its tour-bus-iPod starting points. It also doesn't care what you think of it; T.S.O.O.L. takes everything just-too-far-enough to make this the No. 1 contender for "Guilty Pleasure of Summer '05." Hell, if someone's gonna conquer the world, we could do worse than the Swedes.

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