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Classic Album Review: Randy | Welfare Problems

The Swedish meatballs prove the old ways are the best on their fifth full-length.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


“I hope I’m dead before I’m old,” yelps Stefan Granberg of Randy a minute into their new album, paying homage to The Who and subtly upping the ante in one swell foop.

I wouldn’t presume to guess just what Granberg would call old — but I’m willing to bet it isn’t much riper than the bands these Swedish meatballs are biting on this fifth long-player. Like their fellow countrymen The Hives and (International) Noise Conspiracy — not to mention contemporaries like The Datsuns and D4Randy spend most of their time reconfiguring classic rock riffs, pop melodies and go-go grooves into revved-up garage-rock odes to Dirty Tricks, Cheap Thrills and other things that sound like the title of an AC/DC hit. But the secret ingredient that separates them from the Beatle-boot pack here is — get this — a hefty dose of the choppy, scrappy, fist-pumping ’n’ piano-banging pub-rock of ’70s proto-punks like Dr. Feelgood, Nick Lowe and Joe Strummer’s 101ers. Classic punk licks don’t come any older than that. Looks like Stefan just might have to rethink that whole age thing after all.


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