Amid the bustling alleys of Stockholm, a fusion of seasoned characters from diverse musical backgrounds culminates in the rage-swinging, progressive, jazz infused noise-rock outfit known as Slutavverkning.
Their genetic makeup comprises talents from groups like Opeth, Candlemass, and Fire! Orchestra, and yet they distinctly forge a sound that is unmistakably their own.
Slutavverkning is no stranger to the recording booth, having released three notable EPs in their artistic journey. But this September heralds the birth of a new entity: “Levande Charader“, their debut full-length offering. Self-recorded in the true DIY spirit, the album will be gracing the aural realms through Feral Cuts.
“Levande Charader is an extension of the anticapitalist spirit, as well as the unique avant-garde sound of their previous work.” – comments the label.
This new venture draws on the immense capabilities of the ensemble’s fresh lineup, featuring the likes of Per Wiberg on bass and Isak Hedtjärn’s mastery on saxophone and clarinet. Hedtjärn, besides lending his wind to the Fire! Orchestra, recently toured with the Viagra Boys and collaborates on the free-jazz project Grismask.
The vocal layers, bestowed upon by Jon Ekström, carry an esoteric tale – one of a misunderstood pig farmer grappling with endless voids. Ekström’s approach to finding this character’s voice is nothing short of theatrical.
“To find the voice of this man, I did stuff with my body and vocal chords that’s not suitable to print. But it did contain nudity, pigs, and various beverages.” – Jon Ekström
The new album extends into a special bonus EP called “Skruva, spika, hamra“, introducing listeners to alternate versions and unexpected remixes that further enrich the Slutavverkning experience, and today we’re pleased to give you its first listen below!
For those who treasure an intimate understanding of the compositions, the band unveils a special track by track commentary, giving a sneak peek into their creative processes, and a special tour diary, with loads of great live photos by Marcus Wilén (@marcuswilen), and Johanna Dahlin (@johanna_d_photo).
Skruva, spika, hamra
Pelle: We tried to pack the most musical information possible in the shortest time with this one. It’s a jagged punk tune with a rockabilly stick, barely over a minute and half.
Jon: The title means “Screw, nail, hammer“, but it’s not about renovation; rather about someone who loses his mind while searching for his true self. It can be painful figuring out who you really are… With too many voices in your head, it’s hard to know which one should you be listening to. Parts of the lyrics – as well as the album title “Levande Charader” – were inspired by the Arja Saijonmaa song “Högt över havet”.
Avgångsvederlag (alternativ version)
Pelle: It’s a shuffle, what could be more inappropriate for punks? That’s why we needed to try it out.
Jon: I always sing more or less ”clean” while finding out how to get the lyrics and the melody to work together. Once they’re locked, I let it all out. This version was my first demo of the vocal arrangement. It’s about a person who worked hard in a factory his whole life until he got left behind with a severance cheque. Life quickly fades away when the one thing you know how to do moves on without you. There is a nod to Swedish singer-songwriter and cult figure Kjell Höglund (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5UcJ_5jy4r8) in the lyrics. And yes, there is a bit of falsetto in there too. Sorry.
Skruva, spika, hamra (remix)
Pelle: It was interesting to dissect a song and think it all over from a distance. I was planning to do a synth-based, Kraftwerk-like version. But once I started, the song and its energy steered me towards something completely different… Well, maybe next time! Haha.
After a hiatus spanning four years from live performances, Slutavverkning’s tour diary provides an exclusive insight into their return to the stage. From an old de-christianized church in Gävle to a punk-rock pizzeria in Karlstad, the diary chronicles their journey filled with triumphant gigs, unexpected encounters, and pure punk euphoria. With an array of captivating photos from the Karlstad gig, the feature paints a vivid picture of the band’s passion and energy.
DAY ONE – GÄVLE
After two short rehearsals in Stockholm, we took off for a two hour drive to Gävle.
It was a great venue in an old de-christianized church and the show went surprisingly well after such a long gap of playing together on stage.
Later on we found ourselves in a shabby karaoke bar where, fuelled by a couple of beers, we disgraced Ring of Fire and other classics.
DAY TWO – BORLÄNGE
Borlänge is the hometown of Marcus and Per. We’ve played here before. House of Blues is a nice venue and the sound was crisp. The place was packed and the audience feedback overwhelming. It’s so great when the crowd becomes part of the show! We met both old and new friends; the best part of touring. Only day two and we sold out all the vinyl!
For this gig we had a substitute for Isak. Gustav Nygren from Kungens Män and Automatism – check those bands out, they are great! It was the first time playing with him so the gig had a special nerve to it. But we knew we’d done something right when the most conservative black metal head in town praised the show afterwards!
DAY THREE – KARLSTAD (Photo gallery is from this show)
Jon’s hometown. We played in a punk-rock pizzeria. They had the best vegan pizzas in there!
Very cool venue and it was a straight up in-your-face punk gig.
The whole band on the floor, with Jon and Isak roaming through the audience. Pure joy, happiness and some outstanding sing-a-long from the crowd.
SHOW FOUR – STOCKHOLM
The city that most of us currently call home.
The venue was a classic heavy metal biker bar and we got some suspicious looks from the regulars when the saxophone started to moan during soundcheck. But then a lot of friends and fans appeared and it turned out to be a perfect finale for this short mini-tour.
Even the regulars seemed to come around; their heads started nodding with approval and I’ve heard one of them telling the technician after the show “that was… weird… but cool!”
Big compliment from a hardheaded hair-metal crowd haha! So it was a great night despite Jon and Per both fighting some serious neck pain.
Gustav Nygren joined us again for the last three songs; double-sax bonanza extravaganza! That was loads of fun.