Record of the Week: KRONOFOGDEN Arbete och/eller Fritid LP
The second full-length from Hudiksvall, Sweden’s KRONOFOGDEN (“Enforcement Officer”) shares some obvious DNA with the legendary bands from their hometown (members of MISSBRUKARNA even do guest a chorus on one track), but charges harder on a ramshackle USHC bent, with vocals quickly spat out over fourteen straightforward hardcore bursts. Sturdy, linear drumming propels the fuzzed-out gnarl of guitar distortion, as the angry vocals and shouted choruses in Swedish scrape the volume peaks of their slightly distorted recording. With enough elements stewing, this sturdy engine here stirs things up enough to keep it on edge like a noisier, more raw take on the best moments of DS-13 and ETA, and the second side has a few more crunchy downbeat moments that shadow some TOTALITÄR poundings. The title (which translates to “Work and/or Leisure”) reveals a good portion of the lyrics’ meanings, with English translations explaining how they questioning the Swedish relationship to work and employment, the cost of public transportation in traditionally poorer areas of their city, the closing of youth centers, and other local issues. Cover artwork is pen-and-ink scribble, somewhere between MAGGOT SANDWICH and MUNICIPAL WASTE, with assembly lines, robot cops, zombies and more. Also comes with a 16-page comic. Killer!