There is no better place to do a show than New York City. On Wednesday, April 12 at Irving Plaza, the crowd welcomed back their natives Action Action and Morningwood and made the headlining Swedish visitors, The Sounds, feel right at home.
Performing tracks from 2004’s Don’t Cut Your Fabric to this Year’s Fashion and this year’s An Army of Shapes Between Wars, Action Action warmed the crowd up for what would be an ’80s dance party. With their new wave sound, similar to The Cure, they proved boys with long side swept hair and tight jeans could rock.
The soft-spoken Chantel Claret, of Morningwood, shed her sweetheart image from the moment she jumped on stage, hair flying, and whipped out her microphone from a holster tied around her waist and growled out the lyrics of their debut album.
The set started with the defiant “Televisor” with Chantel ruling the stage with her in-your-face attitude as she took glasses and a baseball cap off of an audience member and modeled them on stage.
During “Body 21” she climbed on top of the speakers and began dancing, urging the audience to form a “grind pit,” as opposed to a “mosh pit.” Channeling Olivia Newton John in “Physical,” Chantel jumped into the crowd and started an impromptu aerobics session and acted as head cheerleader of her squad as everyone spelled out the name of the band during their hit single “Nth Degree”.
Their would-be New York anthem “New York Girls” dulled the audience as it lacked the energy and proper sing-along lyrics for the crowd. The group was saved with “Jetsetter,” which proved they were from New York.
The night turned into an ’80s prom as “Easy Mark” by Nerf Herder played over the speakers and everyone in the crowd sang the lyrics as The Sounds slowly filed out.
It’s hard not to compare lead singer Maja Ivarsson to Blondie’s Debbie Harry; with her blinding platinum blonde hair, a cigarette in hand, low cut black dress and extreme sex appeal, she owns the stage.
Prancing around and jostling her fellow band mates, she knew she had everyone in the palm of her hand.
The crowd was easily entranced as The Sounds performed songs off of their recently released Dying to Say This to You and 2002’s Living In America. Catchy lyrics and raw attitude presented in such songs as “Hit Me” and “Rock N’ Roll” could have made anyone feel like they were in the prime years of CBGB’s.
Their popular single “Song With A Mission” and the closer “Hope You’re Happy Now” showed that better things come out of Sweden than meatballs and nu-metal.