Review Summary: Makthaverskan offer a refinement of their female-fronted post-punk sound, with terrific results.
Makthaverskan is a band hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden. Mixing elements of post-punk and dream-pop, Makthaverskan have garnered a cult following in their native land. Legend has it, at the outset of their venture into the world of music they were reduced to using household kitchen utensils as drums, due to the fact that a proper drum-set could not be afforded. Thankfully, Makthaverskan somehow found the money to afford an actual drum-set, worked their way onto an independent record label and have released two albums thus far. Their second album, simply titled Makthaverskan II, is not a departure from their post-punk sound crafted on their debut four years ago. Instead it is a record that focuses on perfecting the sound, while adding enough interesting ideas to be distinctly identifiable.
The songs sound sloppy and unfocused and the lyrics seldom seem like coherent thoughts, yet somehow this release has an undeniable charm to it. The album is overly repetitive and nowhere near innovative; perhaps that is part of its charm. Nearly every track deals with heartbreak, often with malicious and malevolent lyrics. A certain four letter expletive synonymous for intercourse works its way into many tracks, often vindictively. Although the lyrics may seem childish in execution on occasion, more often than not they are sincere and heartfelt.
All the classic aspects of post-punk are present; there is repetition throughout every track along with an emphasis on synthesizers and dynamic bass lines. The wailing vocals of lead singer Maja Milner are somewhat subdued compared to past offerings, producing a perfect mix between the emotions of the lyrics and emotions being created by the instrumentation. For nine tracks, listeners are swept into a near dream-like state, listlessly floating along until the last airy notes ring out on Volga
. Tracks such as Antabus
showcase the more upbeat dimension of the band. These tracks don’t forgo the atmosphere created on previous tracks, instead bolstering the emotions created by acting as foils. The other half of the album is comprised of mid-temp slow burning tracks that complement the up-tempo tracks perfectly.
Makthaverskan have managed to avoid the dreaded ‘sophomore slump’ in every sense of the phrase. Ideas are expanded upon and obvious growth is being made. Although there are a handful of lamentable moments to be found throughout Makthaverskan II, this album proves to be worthy of repeated listens.