steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Forever Instant

"Diversity" CDR EP

Series Two

Genre: lo-fi, indie pop

Uppsala, Sweden

December 2009

Johan Regner and Niklas Hedman named their band after a Sentridoh track, which should neatly encapsulate where these two are coming from. Indeed, Diversity is an impossibly lo-fi affair, and like Barlow's home recordings, much of this record comes off more as a sketchbook than an actual album.

Only one of these songs reaches the two minute mark (at exactly two minutes), meaning this is more about ideas than presentation -- something which should tickle the fancy of any treasure-seeking DIY fanatic. There's tons of tape fuzz and distortion to wade through, but the bare-boned approach also implies that the band's melodies are front and centre. Nowhere is this more obvious than on the infectious opener, "Tragedy is Coming Your Way," whose quaint combo of vocals, guitar, and drum machine transcends the garbling of the lo-fi production equipment. Though the duo implements the confessional style that characterizes Barlow at his best, the songwriting itself has more in common with the Scandinavian indie pop scene than it does with Sentri- or Sebadoh.

Of course, not every song on Diversity is a hit, and this record more or less lives or dies by the almighty pop hook. Hence, wistful "Sleepy Ned" and the fleeting title-track could be considered successes due to their sweetly hummable melodies. Conversely, atmospheric "Tonight" and brave experiment "A Fair Fight" fail because they lack the essential ingredient. Certainly, only the brave lo-fi fanatic is likely to see the joy in Forever Instant, as these guys turn shoddy production values into a whole artform unto itself. However, the impressive ratio of good to bad pop songs helps propel Diversity into the annals of solid Scandinavian lo-fi pop -- a scene the Series Two label is rapidly cataloguing.

forever instant's myspace

Some guy covering Sentridoh's "Forever Instant":

Michael Tau

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the label, released March 31, 2009]