Record Reviews

Album review: Krakel “Escape”

Krakel returns with its fascinating Swedish quirk rock on the band’s third album.

Krakel, a weird, wacky and wonderful band from Stockholm, was originally active in the early 1980s under the name Krakel Zpektakel. After a reunion and a few line-up changes, Krakel had arrived. From the original 80s line-up remain drummer Kattis Söderström and Åsa Girgensohn on guitar and vocals. “Escape”, the band’s third full-length studio album, continues the journey that Krakel was on with their previous album. There is a hard rock foundation, but the various songs take off in different directions and keep twisting and turning musically. It is avant-garde. At times it sounds a lot like some kind of alternative rock from the 80s. It is weirdly attractive music. It’s like it’s possessed. There’s something sinister lurking about in the music. It’s as if a forest nymph of Nordic folklore has walked into a studio to record an album. The songs are built around storytelling to what is often dramatic music. It’s a theatrical performance set to music. Like a spoken word show but with music… Weird? Yes, but it’s bloody good. This band is as much Kate Bush as it is Thin Lizzy and yet it is neither of them. It’s Rammstein’s naughty Swedish stepdaughter. This is Krakel and it’s not quite like any other band. It is a quirky and eclectic mix of rock music and I love it. The title track is a terrific song inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 film “The Seventh Seal”. “Hambo from Hell”, an excellent stand-out track, is the band’s own take on traditional folk music. “Too Late” is a great piano ballad while “Blind” is a bluesy rocker about dead relationships. “Machine” combines hard rock guitars with industrial elements. The music keeps making turns throughout this album. The band members are not afraid of following the music wherever it takes them. How can it best be described? Swedish quirk rock?

Krakel’s “Escape” will be released on 24th March.