Millencolin
Home From Home


4.0
excellent

Review

by RandyfromPennywise USER (34 Reviews)
May 25th, 2007 | 17 replies | 6,664 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album somewhere between Rock and Punk, and great and brilliant.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

There are three stages to Millencolin’s career: pre-Pennybridge, Pennybridge, and post-Pennybridge. Pennybridge Pioneers was the only time that the Swedish foursome was actually a fully-fledged Pop-Punk band. There was no ska, the sloppiness was gone and the band made what many still see as their best album. So after perfecting the formula that they’d be working towards for half a dozen years, it was a pretty bold move to then go and markedly change the sound on the following record. But Home From Home shows why Millencolin are more innovative, diverse and, well, better than almost all other Punk, Pop-Punk and Rock/Punk bands out there.

Let’s get things straight: Home From Home is not a ‘classic’. Hell, it’s not even the band’s best album. But it is an album full of heavy guitars, Rock-infused Punk, and a couple of the best tracks the band has released. The union of Punk and Rock on this album has defined the post-Pennybridge Millencolin and is manifest from the opening burst of Man Or Mouse. The aggressive introduction to the album is an unashamed statement of intent. I find it strange that this song is largely divisive among Millencolin fans. Personally I think it’s undeniably one of the best tracks off the album, yet others bemoan its repetitive calls of “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah!” and the blandness of the music. Whatever the opinions, it’s undeniably the boldest opening to a Millencolin record yet. It sits somewhere between early Foo Fighters and Lagwagon-Pop-Punk. The breakdown begins the ride to the explosive final choruses which round out a rather frantic opening three minutes. It’s clear from the outset that this certainly isn’t the Millencolin of old.

The early releases from Millencolin receive too much praise. While Same Old Tunes is a fun, unique album and Life On A Plate has some undoubted moments of brilliance, post-Pennybridge Millencolin is a far more mature, refined, and, well, better affair. Nikola’s lyrics have developed steadily over the years and the band has benefited accordingly. While the poppy, ska-influenced earlier stuff is fun and catchy, the deeper, fuller feeling on Home From Home is palpable. Pre-Pennybridge Millencolin just couldn’t have written a song about world issues and international politics, but Home From Home is able to offer up the pensive and inspired Afghan. While the lyrics aren’t mind-blowingly awesome, for a guy writing in his second language he’s doing ok:

Just like the children's sandpit,
Just like the wild wild west.
At random choose a target,
It's not enough to be second best.

So now you wanna fight them,
The weaker one is always wrong.
Yeah now you wanna fight them,
A real man's gotta show the world he's strong.


Aside from being the strongest song on the album lyrically, it’s also one of the musical highlights. Nikola’s vocals are almost harsh and fully engaging, while the Punk-inspired palm-muting works effectively in the verses. One of the more serious songs in the Millencolin catalogue, and equally one of the best.

While there are definite Pop-Punk songs here, the Rock-inspired numbers provide the more outstanding moments, of which Kemp is undeniably the shining example. It’s hard to argue against this being the best Millencolin song ever, although there are many other candidates. I have listened to/played this song solidly for five years now and am not even close to being ‘over’ it. It is just pure Rock/Punk gold. The relentless drums and piercing guitar leads drive the choruses while the brooding, guitarless verses are auditory bliss. The solo and the build-up towards it are magnificent, and the feeling is only intensified with the forceful final choruses. The undoubted album highlight and the best Millencolin song in the post-Pennybridge era.

The 2005 album Kingwood owes a lot to Home From Home. While most fans agree that the latter release is the stronger of the two Rock-inspired albums, Home From Home was essential in establishing the new Millencolin sound. But charting this unseen territory did have its drawbacks, as Punk Rock Rebel shows. Just slightly too over-produced and attempting to blend too many influences in to one song, it drifts between engaging and dull in equal measures. The same applies to Botanic Mistress, while the Pennybridge Pioneers influence is obvious. And the most stupid lyrics of any Millencolin song for a few years. It is firmly tongue-in-cheek, but seriously, being in love with a plant? It is incongruous with the maturity of the album and one of the few weak points, certainly exacerbated by preceding the impressive Happiness For Dogs. At first glance, nothing more than a disposable, rockin’ Pop-Punk tune, the contemplative and insightful lyrics and Nikola’s alluring vocals give this song a much deeper and involved sentiment than first impressions would have you believe. Again the lyrical maturity is tangible as Nikola tackles depression, psychiatry and long-term optimism in the beginning of the strong back end of the album. Battery Check channels Penguins & Polarbears with its catchy guitar intro, but this ode to personal identity and self-discovery is unique in the Millencolin discography. One of the most thoughtful and optimistic songs the band’s ever written, the feeling is one of hope and introspection. Nikola's vocals are again the feature in the dreamy, subdued choruses, and why not when you’ve got one of the best-suited voices for Pop-Punk and Rock in the business?

No review of Home From Home would be complete without mentioning Blackeye. From memory, Erik and Matthias (from the band) say that this is their favourite Millencolin song. And with good reason - it’s both full-blooded Rock and very-poppy Punk with one of the catchiest choruses on the album. The typically brilliant Millencolin backing-vocals are prominent, as Matthias and Erik prove yet again why the band has some of the best vocals in Punk. The sentiment is carried through to the abrasive choruses and subdued verses of Montego as the flowing guitars further emphasise the move away from Pop-Punk towards more Rock-influenced Punk.

While the better tracks are brilliant Pop-Punk and Rock songs, Home From Home is far from a perfect (or ‘classic’) album. There are a handful of songs that are completely anonymous that fail to live up to the standards set earlier in the album. Despite the disappointing tracks, the album is certainly one of the most impressive in the Millencolin collection, and undeniably important in supporting the band’s new direction. Far too quickly derided by many fans, Home From Home is actually a rockin’ album that showed the band’s more mature and refined abilities and attitudes while still maintaining their Punk roots. Millencolin could’ve taken the easy route and released another Pennybridge Pioneers, but they expanded their sound and developed their songwriting, for the better.

Recommended tracks:

Kemp
Blackeye
Afghan
.



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user ratings (120)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
doug (4.5)
Being naive can be a very good thing....

Callum Thomson (4)
Home From Home shows great talent and variety among the band and the tracks are very descent!...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Catchthe22
May 25th 2007



95 Comments


I always saw this album at the radio station but never went for it, because i only knew one song from it

RandyfromPennywise
May 25th 2007



752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There's 3 mp3s up there, have a listen, Kemp and Man Or Mouse are good, Fuel to the Flame, not so much.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2007



2656 Comments


You're an outstanding writer, dude.

SkaRobotArmy
May 25th 2007



24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not their best album, but as he said a very important step in the new direction. although you failed to mention my favourite song on the album, that is the title track - home from home. there are some weakER songs, but they are definately all good. Kingwood has weak songs but Moosemans Jukebox is bit'chin'.

Mr_Coffee
May 25th 2007



631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review.

I like Millencolin a lot. It's a unique band. This album isn't their best, but hell yes it's good.

Agree with the recommended tracks, and I add Happiness For Dogs. Great song. And Punk Rock Rebel isn't a bad song... Actually, I like it a lot.

RandyfromPennywise
May 25th 2007



752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the comments fellas. Yeah I would put Happiness For Dogs and Man Or Mouse in the recommended tracks but I thought it's better to keep the number of recommended tracks down.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
May 26th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, this CD slayed me hard back in 10th grade. I can't believe this was 5+ years ago. I remember listening in my bed as I was going to sleep on repeat. "Happiness for Dogs" is still my favorite. Also, the version of "Blackeye" from Punkorama 6 was better. Check it out.

RandyfromPennywise
May 26th 2007



752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Truth. I, too, first got this record at the start of year 11, which was 5 years ago, man time has flown. And there are other versions of Kemp and Blackeye, yeah the blackeye alternate version is good but the album version of Kemp is better.

Jim
October 23rd 2007



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is great. I haven't heard it in years, however. These mp3's will start the flood of nastolgia...
Great review by the way.

Khatnaa
February 8th 2009



24 Comments


+Recommended tracks:

Fingers Crossed
Happiness For Dogs

upagainstthewall
February 24th 2009



838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ fingers crossed is my favourite millencolin song.
Afgan is pretty swell as well

Douglas
May 8th 2009



9088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

^ agreed, Afgan is great as well as Happiness for Dogs.

Digging: James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical

Jim
August 23rd 2009



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

kemp just came on my itunes

such an awesome pop rock song. ticks every box

Douglas
November 18th 2009



9088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Happiness For Dogs just came on mine, fucking brilliant song

Jordish
October 19th 2010



2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this album over pennybridge pioneers anyday

Jim
October 19th 2010



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

MOUSE MORE THAN MAN YES I AM

Douglas
October 31st 2012



9088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

COZ AFTER RAINY DAYS THE SUN WILL SHINE FOR YOUUU



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