I just don’t know what it is with Swedish music and me, but we seem to have this love affair with each other that never ever gets boring. For my entry into the pop-punk showdown series, I’ve decided to look at Millencolin, Sweden’s number one export. Well, after Abba, Dennis Lyxzen and Little Gamers, that is.
So, where do we start with Millencolin? Millencolin are a pop-punk band from Sweden on Burning Heart Records. They formed in 1992 and are still going strong today, with a total of eight studio albums to their name. And other than that, Millencolin are fairly hard to describe. They’re more punk than pop, but have more energy than the Duracell bunny on coke. Their lyrics leave a lot to be desired, but at the same time, who else can write a song where their new car sounds more like their new girlfriend? While Millencolin don’t really break any boundaries, they write songs which are fun, upbeat and give you a musical punch in the face – and that’s how pop-punk is done best.
While they may not be great innovators within the scene, Millencolin are fairly well rounded for a pop-punk band. There’s all your pop-punk staples in there – love, hate, anger, joy, rejection – all wrapped up in a deliciously riffy package. However, as Millencolin get older, their albums get a little more ballsy, a little more profound and a lot more awesome. Whilst it’s not my favourite album (but isn’t far off), Home From Home is a great example for this, picking up where Pennybridge Pioneers left off but with a lot more swagger and some incredible riffs. As a (vague) guitarist myself, I love being able to pick up a guitar and breaking out into Punk Rock Rebel. It just gives me this incredibly badass feeling, and if a pop-punk song isn’t doing that, it’s not any good.
While Millencolin albums on their own are pretty darn spectacular, it’s just not the same as seeing them live. Millencolin are absolutely fantastic live – energetic, hilarious and (pop)punk as fuck. See for yourself – this is some footage from a show they played in Stockholm. If you get the opportunity, I urge you to go to a Millencolin show, because the only place you would have more fun would be in a room filled with trampolines, free balloons and ice cream.
You might not know it, but you’ve probably heard a Millencolin song before. If you’ve ever played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, you’ve heard Millencolin, in the form of No Cigar, potentially one of their best songs and the one that brought them to fame in the punk scene. Millencolin, as any good pop-punk band should, have their origin in skateboarding – even their name is a variation of the skateboarding trick ‘melancholy’. They have their own skate shoes, a skate video (sort of – Millencolin and the Hi-8 Adventures is a behind the tour video with lots of skating in it) and their own skate competition. The Millencolin Open is a three day skate fest, held once a year at their own skate park, attracting sponsors and skaters from all over the world. In the words of our very own fightclubsandwich, “that is fucking sweeeeet!”
The truth is, I’ve essentially grown up with Millencolin, and I think this is why I love them as much as I do. My first foray into the world of pop-punk began with the Tony Hawk’s games, and Millencolin with that. Pennybridge Pioneers was one of the first albums I listened to that wasn’t in the top 40. Millencolin were one of the first bands I saw live, when they supported Good Charlotte in 2005. There’s all kinds of little things that I love about them, such as the fact that they did a split EP with Midtown, another of my favourite pop-punk bands. Millencolin are still going, and every new album they bring out is as good as the last, if not better. Millencolin are here to stay, so you might as well love them.
Video for Kemp (trust me, this is awesome)