SUDAKISTAN : Swedish Cobra

by Griff Stevens

Sudakistan is a five-member band from Stockholm that has molded their own brand of psychedelia infused rock with punk and just a hint of Latino rhythms. The band’s second album, Swedish Cobra, again finds the band pushing the envelope and developing their sound and songwriting skills. Recording live in the studio, Swedish Cobra captures the band’s raw, but focused energy, displaying a broader and more mature sound while still creating urgency and a indie rock attitude. Sudakistan is fronted by Michell Serrano, with guitarist Arvid Sjöö, bassist Maikel Gonzalez, percussionist Carlos Amigo and drummer Juan Jose Espindola. The nine tracks highlight the band’s most personal set of songs to date. With lyrics dealing with a wide range of topics that run the gamut from partying to introspection, it’s not an outwardly political album; instead, it deals with the day-to-day lives of the bandmembers, all of whom contributed to the lyrical ideas. On Swedish Cobra; the band has again made their mark with another scintillating punk release.

“Whiplash” starts with a whirl of drums from Espindola. The melody and lyrics enter over the hypnotic bass and guitar figure. The call and response nature of the melody is nice and builds interest. The song structure has a familiar form, but the band breaks things up with various sections and variations on themes. The feel is certainly punk rock, with just a touch of Latin rhythms. The middle section has a break in the intensity, the tune has multiple-sections, but still maintains a continuity in sound and musical textures. Both Carlos and Mikael sing at various points in the tune, giving another dimension to the music. A hard-hitting track, with plenty of punk and psychedelia.

The rock embellished punk continues with “Two Steps Back.” A focused reverb laden guitar part from Arvid, both Carlos and Mikael sing the lyrics. The song switches to a more aggressive sound, with distorted guitar and driving drums and bass. The melody also lifts, and the energy of the chorus is a dramatic step up from the churning verse. This pattern continues as Sudakistan builds the song as only they can, particularly in terms of rhythm and groove.

Back in the saddle again with Swedish Cobra, Sudakistan serves it up with bite, but much more than that the group has a stinging sense of musicality to their psychedelia rock with a punk attitude.  The songs are smart, and the band is inspired, adding up to an enthusiastic listen that lingers long beyond the play.  Highly recommended for those who like their rock to punch.

Tracks to sample first: “Whiplash,” “Two Steps Back” and “Blanco.” The song to take a chance on is “Last Love Supreme.”




Swedish Cobra [LP]


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