The band, one of Sweden´s busiest underground live acts, had released an LP on the tiny label The Emo Foundation, toured themselves blue in the face, and done everything an eager, hungry band should. The band enjoyed some success, and garnered a small legion of dedicated devotees which clung fiercely to the band. Then came….well, not so much, really. A band needs to grow, to evolve, and needs to feel that they are still striving towards new, alluring heights. To go ever forwards.
But for Chemical Vocation, things started to feel as they had reached the apex of what they could achieve, without catching a glimpse of the next level. Add to this the intra-band arguments which inevitably occur when five friends spend an insane amount of time packed in the confines of a small van, and you get the picture. The inspiration and eagerness blew out the exhaust pipe while the tour van made its way home after years of touring up and down the Scandinavian map. Suddenly, Eric called. Eric Höjdén, main man in Swedish pop punk royalty Kid Down, had merged his ideas with the Burning Heart mogul Peter Ahlqvist to form Panic & Action.
This was the logical consequence of a music business in transformation – an artist friendly management, label and booking agency in one neat package. Peter and Eric were convinced Chemical Vocation definitely had the potential to become the first ace up the new company´s sleeve. The band was instantly ushered into recording mode. The fact that Eric Höjdén, who produced the album, was the first person ever to believe in Chemical Vocation and once had been the one to throw the band into the studio, felt like an omen – the circle was to be completed.
Something beautiful was about to be reborn. The passion and inspiration returned as a blessing for Chemical Vocation. Together with fellow Swedish giants Neverstore and Kid Down, Chemical Vocation represent the holy trinity of modern punk, destined to boost the scene for this kind of music to a much larger scale. All the above have strong relations to classic skate punk, like Millencolin, but want to bring the tunes of old into a new millennium where modern, american emo-rock has been a significant force of nature. Emo, according to Chemical Vocation, is not the sloppy, hairstyle-manic goo that My Chemical Romance and Aiden have made it.
Emo punk, as Pierre, Kristoffer, Robin, Joakim and Johan know it, doesn´t whine all the time. Instead, it wants to knock the wind out of you, all the while conveying something personal. Melodic, straight forward, simple without being mundane. Imagine a modern Jimmy Eat World more than, say, Funderal For A Friend. Thus, the five friends from the Swedish west coast have found their way back to the place where they were always the most happy.
Liberating for them, liberating for us. The result was recorded in warp-speed, was christened “A Misfit In Progress”, and it doesn´t give a shit about your preconceived notions. Expect melodies. Expect top notch energy. But also expect a band who puts the feeling in the songs above all things, a band who have created a holistic album as opposed to a fragmented collection of songs; a band who have discovered the gratification of contrasts.
A band who want to express things – for real. Pierre´s gutter screams are washed away, and the music, in large parts created by Chemical´s guitar playing Enfant terrible Kristoffer, feels more focused as well as more varied and dynamic. The lyrics have stopped weeping as much, instead they express more clearly than ever what it means to be a young person today. The Chemical Vocation of 2008 wants to make a personal mark – its members are exposed to hardships and joy de vivre, just like all humans. Lyrical stories convey that humans will be humans with the highs and the lows that come along with the job.
But Chemical Vocation wants to avoid whining about it – listening to the music should be easy, alluring, and should get you caught up in that vivid feeling of being alive. Pop that will make you faint, punk that will tear apart, melodies that intoxicate, and a feeling that we´ve all been longing to express – “A Misfit In Progress” promises everything. And it keeps its promises. Official homepage with additional info at www.chemicalvocation.com Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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