With his Joe Strummer voice, abiding love for Northern Soul, and greased Christopher Walken hair, Anders Wendin is a big-time pop star in his native Sweden, dating back to Moneybrother’s Swedish Grammy-winning debut album, 2003’s Blood Panic. If the upcoming, first-ever Moneybrother U.S. release fails to accord him similar status here (I’m not holding my breath), it’s not for lack of agreeable material. Take “Born Under a Bad Sign”–not a cover of the old Albert King song, but a rousing club-floor body-shaker that adds a compressed, 21st-century edge to the feeling of some of the Clash’s dancier numbers. I find it easy to love tightly-crafted songs that manage to maintain a ramshackle vibe, and this is surely one of those, as Wendin’s rough-edged voice and his nearly shouted, gang-style backing chorus belie the song’s nimble beat and crisp guitar licks.
After five successful releases–and a new line of eco-friendly Moneybrother tomato soup (?)–Moneybrother will see album number five, Real Control, come out here on Bladen County Press Records in April. MP3 via Bladen County Press.