Agony Shorthand

Friday, April 04, 2003
GUILTY PLEASURE DEPARTMENT....Ever get into a band or a record that you objectively KNOW is probably shite? A guilty pleasure that you think you're probably going to disown within a couple of years? Sure you have; everyone does. For you, it might be Billy Joel, Supertramp or Jane's Addiction; for me (this year) it's the SAHARA HOTNIGHTS. This all-girl, photo-ready, Swedish garage-pop band came to my attention when I spent two weeks in Karlskrona, Sweden in 2001 -- with side trips to Stockholm and Copenhagen -- and their latest CD "Jennie Bomb" was all over the racks of Stockholm's HMV. I chalked up what I believed to be one of the worst band names ever to a failure of Swedish-to-English translation. Well, "Jennie Bomb" is now out in the US, has been for a while, and shoot me if it doesn't have some great buzzsaw hooks, shouted punk-girl choruses and about 4-5 excellent songs. (It does, however, have easily the most horrible song title of the last decade: "All Right All Right, Here's My Fist (Where's The Fight)". Tough girls!!). This year's ELASTICA, perhaps? While they are not likely to be mistaken for KRIMINELLA GITARRER, if you get past the stadium drums, the RUNAWAYS-style posing, and those lyrics, you might find yourself with some ultra-catchy, high energy tracks like "Down And Out", "Keep Up The Speed" and "Only The Fakes Survive". And you might even like them! Since I understand it that Swedes are immersed in English starting in the third grade, this could easily be from London or Auckland or King of Prussia, PA. I encourage you to give the aforementioned tracks the free download treatment -- that's how I heard them. Don't worry, the CDs will be ALL OVER the remainder bins within months. And what do our Swedish correspondents the Olaussen brothers have to say about the band? I'll bet they're each dating a HOTNIGHT.