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A Boisterous Punk-Rock Pep Rally

The Swedish band Love Is All funnels spirited punk through mysteriously murky production.
The Swedish band Love Is All funnels spirited punk through mysteriously murky production.

On its first album, Nine Times That Same Song, the Swedish band Love Is All demonstrates a remarkable flair for raw, crazed, X-Ray Spex-inspired dance-punk. Josephine Olausson's vocals tear a jagged swath through each track: Her youthful cries bring to mind a punk-rock pep rally, as her insanely energetic supporting players funnel their sound through murky production that adds to the record's mystery and underground feel. Though it seems heavily influenced by past British post-punk, Love Is All's sound feels fresh and essential.

The title of "Make Out Fall Out Make Up" goes a long way toward describing the band: It's fun yet mysterious, youthful and angry yet hopeful. A straight-up call to arms, the song lets Olausson's screams build with intensity until the whole affair practically shrapnelizes, and she's reduced to yelling the song's chorus over and over again atop a driving drum beat. Comparisons are inevitable — The Go-Go's covering The Slits with help from X-Ray Spex? — but ultimately irrelevant, as Love Is All lets its own sheer boisterousness leave the most lasting impression.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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John Richards
John Richards is the host and producer of The Morning Show with John on 90.3 FM KEXP Seattle, and online at . He is also KEXP's assistant program director.