April 13, 2023

Single Coil Candy is the debut full-length album by Swedish alt-rock band Bring the Hoax. Set for release on the 12th of May via Lövely Records, the album contains the four tracks from Bring the Hoax’s self titled EP from 2022 (previously only released digitally) plus six new, until now unreleased songs. The album title refers to a commonly used guitar pickup called a single coil, which is often found in offset guitars such as the Fender Jazzmaster and Jaguar models, two of the band’s favourites. It has the ability to produce a warm, full-bodied but yet gritty sound.

“Candy-like”, if you will!

The band is a foursome all hailing from Stockholm, consisting of Karl Nordahl (guitar and vocals), Hasse Karlsson (guitars and vocals), Sara Engström (bass) and Mark Pettersson (drums). Karl and Hasse both grew up in Viksjö, just to the north of Stockholm, and were probably destined to become friends since they both were equally unable to resist the mesmerizing pull of the massive soundscapes coming out from the punk, indie and grunge-era of the 90s. When, many years later, they found their apartments to be just shy of 100 metres apart, it was time to start making music together! The quartet infuses its indie rock with strong fuzzy guitars and delicately sweet melodies, and you can hear those 90’s and power-pop arrangements all the way.

Bring the Hoax are:
Hasse Karlsson – guitars and vocals
Karl Nordahl – guitar and vocals
Sara Engström – bass
Mark Pettersson – drums

In 2022, the band’s first releases on Lövely Records saw the light of day, with two singles and an EP. The singles Los Angeles and Jonestown received praise on an international level, and the EP followed suit. Given the four tracks on the EP are contained here, the quality of the overall album speaks for itself.

The ten songs capture the band’s signature sound with a mix of catchy hooks, powerful guitars and heavy drums and bass. Together with a massive production these tracks are sure to give you a true connection with the band’s music. One of the band’s core tools in creating their work is their use of strong dynamics in their song writing. Like a pendulum the music rocks you back and forth between a mesmerizing calm and an invigorating power. While the band’s energy never fades, it doesn’t catch you off guard either, it’s familiar, but fresh at the same time.

The lyrics are poetic and tell suggestive tales about politics, relationships and the everyday struggle that is life. The album opens with Los Angeles, a sort of cross between REM, the Beach Boys and the Long Riders! It’s hugely tuneful and quite upbeat, swiftly followed by Jonestown, again joyously up-beat power-pop that reminds me of Weezer’s Hash Pipe – full of bouncy, infectious fun but a really tight quartet. As Hasse puts it, “Ever since we were kids we have adored a sweet and catchy melody wrapped in a big fuzzy blanket of guitar distortion” – and right there, you have the band sound!

Lighthouse is slower, dreamy, still with that power pop vibe blended with signature fuzz -riffs. And then 1993 could be BTH’s take on Bryan Adams’ Summer of 1969 – a nicely building melodic riff leads into a huge anthemic smorgasbord of chords, pounding drums, this is pretty heavy stuff! Smashing Pumpkins at their best, you simply can’t keep still to this! Final Day has another hint of the Pumpkins to it, a nicely edgy track. Once continues this darker tone, a disparaging take on small town life and love lost. Strong vocals from Karl / Hasse, I’m not sure who takes the lead on some of these but both are creditable.

Every Kind of Light is another darker number, throbbing bass and insidious guitar work pinning it to your brain! Burn The Sky features another chunk of guitar soundbites that just stick in your head – little bits of melody that won’t let go! And a classy solo in the middle. Singles is slightly weaker, a slightly thinner sound lacking the “big sound” of the other tracks. Its more fuzzy, a slightly flat sound – but hey, it’s still not bad, very listenable

Down Below is different, it’s a slower, darker, insidiously pounding track, a nice echoing mix featuring a touch of electronica that works really well. Still a massively melodic base, shades of Weezer again on a moody day! Lots of energy, lots of distorted harmony, it works!

Four Swedes and…..um!!

Lövely Records signed this alt-rock band on the basis of their sweet melodies and fuzzed out guitars, colourful, energetic, and dynamic rock music. And they’ve got it bang-on, this is Rock with a smile on its face! To sum up, the album is stuffed full of crackling power-pop tracks that take inspiration from the massive soundscapes of the 90s and blend it with their own distinct, fresh sound. Bring the Hoax have all the right ingredients for this year’s “take” on power-pop, so just stick it on and enjoy it!

Single Coil Candy is produced by Bring the Hoax, and recorded by the band members at Danviken Stereo. The album is mixed by Markus Ingberg at Clubhill Studios, mastered by Hans Olsson Brookes, and features cover art by Bring the Hoax’s bass player Sara Engström. Single Coil Candy will be available on all streaming platforms and pink vinyl on the 12th of May.