Thursday, October 19, 2017

RÄVJUNK – Uppsala Stadshotell brinner igen (Shadoks, 1976-1980)

International relevance: ***
Swedish and English vocals, instrumental

Rävjunk's self-released 1977 album ”Uppsala Stadshotell brinner” has been a collector's classic for ages, thanks to the jam heavy, guitar driven tracks. I personally think the album is overrated because, unlike most apparently, I like the punkier side of Rävjunk a lot better. ”Uppsala Stadshotell brinner” has its share of high octane hit-and-run tracks of course, including ”Hey Little Girl” and ”Jag e så skitig, jag e så paj” but they just aren't as good as the three seven-inches the band released on their own Sub label in 1979 and 1980. A proper reissue of those was long overdue when Shadoks Music finally compiled them in 2016, adding seven previously unreleased recordings (including Wire cover "40 Versions"), effectively creating a proper follow-up to their legendary first.

Kicking off with ”Bohman, Bohman”, what could possibly go wrong? A raging and hilarious full frontal assault on Gösta Bohman, then leader of right-wing political party Moderaterna, with lyrics unsophisticated enough to get the song banned by the Swedish Radio. (Later, the reincarnated Rävjunk performed an updated version of the song, changing the lyrics to ”Reinfeldt, Reinfeldt” in 'honour' of Moderaterna's new leader and Prime Minister of Sweden 2006-2014, Fredrik Reinfeldt.)

While ”Uppsala Stadshotell brinner igen” has its progressive touches, particularly on the previously unreleased tracks of the 'B' side, the album as a whole is a no-nonsense affair further examplified by the punch-in-the-face take on Bob Dylan's ”All Along the Watchtower” and a Swedish version of Stooges chestnut ”I Wanna Be Your Dog” (”Roland Agius se ut över stan!”). There's a different kind of energy at work here which simply blows most of ”Uppsala Stadshotell brinner” to smithereens. When I talk about Rävjunk, this is what I mean.

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