-Clay’s Take-

Somewhere in the depths of Växjö, Sweden and somewhere between the Who and the Smiths (maybe even somewhere between Ra Ra Riot and Rush) there is a band rocking it out.  The name of that band is Treemo, and they are daring you to listen to them.

I should qualify that statement by saying that dare comes if you enjoy the previously mentioned bands over, say, top 40 radio.  Their brand of rock is wide of scope and rich of sound, yet always remains even keeled.  I mean, the band goes on a serious riff and drum fill-laden journey on “Thunder Canyon” before diving into the lyrics.

The band features singer/songwriter/guitarist Emil Malmsten, who channels his inner Morrissey and Wes Miles with his echoed tenor. Robert Klaar carries the haul of lead guitars and synthesizer which are heavily utilized, while drummer Dennis Nilsson plays fast and loose and Alexander Carlsson plays… well… everything else.

The result is an ambitious sweeping sound through their 22 minute EP, Understory. Unlike some other albums that I’ve listened to lately that start strong and then limp across the finish line, this album is a diesel juggernaut.  It starts a little slow, but once it gets going, man, it is hard to stop.  The album hits its full-force at the midway point with the beautiful and catchy “Snowfall.”  Opening on Townshend-esque acoustic strumming, the song goes into a full march with synthesizer strings and subdued piano.  The watery guitar riff and Malmsten’s poetry of standing in a moment during winter is so great that you should stop reading and scroll to the bottom and listen for yourself.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I know, right?

If I can take a moment and step into the role of someone who pats themselves on the back…

This is what I truly love about this site that Greg and I have created.  Sure, it was great at first to try and get an “in” with some of the record labels and get free music ahead of time and becoming the next Pitchfork (yeah right).  But when things got truly interesting was when amazing bands that did not have the mouthpiece that more well-known and internationally touring bands had.  It became more gratifying introducing readers to bands they had never heard of.  Treemo is one of those bands.  You should know who they are.

Again, there’s not a lot of pop here if that is your thing, but if you like some grand rock with rich layers of sound, then my goodness, go download Understory.   It’s $4.95 on iTunes or Amazon.  There are coffee and scone combos that cost more than that, and believe me, this album will help you get through your day better than those will.  You’ve been dared, will you answer Treemo’s challenge?