|“Sweden must have something in the water. From the likes of The Hellacopters and Backyard Babies, they’ve proved their mastery of garage rock and punk ‘n’ roll time and time again. Psychopunch are another band on that list because they’ve been blasting out their tough but infectious anthems since back in 1998 and this latest album is arguably their finest yet. From the one-two energetic openers of ‘Back Of My Car’ and ‘So Jaded’, to the slower, chugging ‘Sitting By The Railroad’ and the punchy highlight ‘Kick In The Head’, this record proves that a strong balance of melody and powerful riffs can be a potent one. Fans of The Ramones and the Wildhearts should definitely pick up ‘Smakk Valley’ too, as there’s something here for most rock ‘n’ roll and punk fans. It’s no wonder that one of their early albums was called ‘Original Scandinavian Superdudes’. 8/10”– Ian Chaddock, Vive Le Rock, March / April 2013 issue.
Incendiary Swedish Punk rock’n’rollers Psychopunch are set to release their exuberant, melody drenched eleventh studio album, ‘Sweet Baby Octane’, on Steamhammer / SPV on November 20th. ‘Sweet Baby Octane’ will be available as a digipak CD (with CD only) bonus track, and in a limited edition of 500 transparent red 180 gr. vinyl albums with a double sided poster, paper inner sleeves and (vinyl only) bonus track.
‘Sweet Baby Octane’, which steps up an even higher level than its much lauded predecessor, exudes even more of the awe-inspiring energy which has marked all of Psychopunch’s previous releases. Packed with truly irresistible anthems, ‘Sweet Baby Octane’ is the band’s most colourful and diverse opus to date.
Founder member and vocalist JM attributes this progression to his new band mates, guitarist Magnus Henriksson (ex-Eclipse and W.E.T.) and bassist Patrick ‘Walle’ Wallert (formerly in Dead City Rockers), who he and drummer Jocke recruited two years ago, when the band’s line-up imploded, just after the the release of ‘Smakk Valley’. “Walle and Magnus’s down-to-earthiness fits in perfectly,” beams JM. “Both are not only excellent musicians but also have the same sense of humour as Jocke and I. In addition, Magnus has brought a new and very positive aspect to the band with his guitar solos, which are pretty unusual for our kind of music.”
The new line-up has also led to a new way of working. While ‘Smakk Valley’ primarily rested on the shoulders of only two of the band members, ‘Sweet Baby Octane’ was composed by a collective. JM: “The first fragments of a song were mostly based on my inspiration, the rest was developed by the whole band, which made work so much easier for me as my suggestions fell on fertile ground with the other three. They all contributed their own ideas, which definitely benefits the new album.”
Particular highlights include ‘I’ve Been Around’, ‘What Did I Say’ and ‘On A Night Like This (Hell Yeah)’, a “perfect party punk rock’n’roll song” (JM), featuring guest vocalist Tossa from Swedish punk rock act Puffball. Then there’s the grooving ‘Turn Up The Radio’ and the atmospheric ‘Drinking Alone’, the first track in the history of Psychopunch to feature an acoustic guitar (played by drummer Jocke).
‘Forever And A Day’, a duet with German vocalist Clare Von Stitch, also deserves a mention. JM: “Everybody expects you to pick a ballad for a duet with a female vocalist. We went in exactly the opposite direction and decided on a full-blown punk number.” Clare Von Stitch was brought to Psychopunch’s attention by Dirk ‘The Pixeleye’ Behlau, who produced the video clip to support the song and shot the photos for the new cover artwork.
‘Punkrocker’, a cover of a track by the Swedish band Teddybears, is another unusual choice which really lives up to its title in Psychopunch’s version. Another innovation in the career of the Scandinavian punk rockers is ‘When You´re Out Of Town’, the first genuine country punk track, featuring Swedish singer Julia Mörtstrand as another guest vocalist.
The 13 gems of songs (plus intro and outro) on ‘Sweet Baby Octane’ were produced by Pelle Saether at the Studio Underground in Psychopunch’s hometown of Västerås between April and June 2015. “We’ve never had so much time for a production,” JM remembers happily, “that’s why we were able – for example on ‘Time Is On Our Side’ – to hone arrangements and some finer points in the studio.”