2023: Five Quickies: The Dahmers, Karl Oskar, laikaonline, Los Mucus, & Quiet Commotion

Five quick write-ups about five exciting projects from five exciting bands!

The Dahmers – Ghouls in the Garage

ffo: Bad Nerves, Mean Jeans, Jay Reatard

Spooky Bromölla-based garagerock. These guys will send shivers down your spine with their tightly crafted power-pop. Donning their signature skeleton costumes while performing – they might seem incredibly scary, but they’re really an incredibly charming bunch! Every song on Ghouls in the Garage is a standout! “The Ghost of Roy Orbison” stands out as a summary of what The Dahmers have to offer. The music echoes the spirit of halloween: spooky guitars, spooky lyrics, spooky reverb, spooky keys, spooky samples and classic halloween-music tropes – this EP has it all! There’s also this playfulness in the instrumentals and structure of the songs themselves that exudes trick-or-treating childhood halloween jitters. Listening through this nine minute tracklist is a breezy fun time. Ghouls in the Garage sounds like something that would play while Scooby Doo and the Gang run from the latest Crystal Cove terror – in the best way possible. Did I mention that they’re kind of spooky?

Karl Oskar – “All in Now”

ffo: 2nd grade, Alex G, The Drums

Norrköping indie rock at its best. While his music might be at its truest and most vulnerable in its recorded lo-fi form, accompanied by other musicians live – the compositions really shine. While still using the base of what the recorded versions have to offer, the other instruments can wander off to incredible places when they’re allowed outside of the boundaries presented in the lo fi. “All in Now” seems to recapture this feeling of their live output. A feeling of: hell yeah this is what real music should sound like. “All in Now” makes me happy, “All in Now” makes me sad. The structure of the song, along with the repeating of the phrase “You’re not alone” in the chorus, take the tune to heights of emotion – along with absolutely rockin’ backing instrumentals delivering maximum quantities of dopamine. Diving down in the verse to slowly climb its way back into this nod-inducing chorus TWICE, this is Karl Oskar at his best. 

laikaonline – latespringlilies

ffo: weatherday, glass beach, your arms are my cocoon, 

I found this album late last year, it slaps ass. Stealthily released in June by Lund-based laikaonline. Noisy choppy emotional slowcore/emo music that heals your soul. I especially enjoy the quietness which builds into distorted messes, such as the last 50 seconds of “cut my hair” which might be my favorite tune on latespringlilies. The vibe is just immaculately crafted. “kallocain” uses up what seems to be the entire field of sound with euphoric keys in a hurricane of chaotic sounds. “death of klara (late bloom)” is an incredible almost 12 minute epic that jumps between dreamy shoegazy moments and raw noise music. A really pretty, albeit disorienting, album. Check this out if you like the bands mentioned in the ffo or if you’re just keen on listening to good ol’ homemade LOUD music.

Los Mucus – “Ocular Attorney” 

ffo: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Thee Oh Sees, Viagra Boys

Malmö-based Los Mucus should be way larger than their current audience. Older men should flock to this kind of music in the same way that teens flock to overpriced second-hand stores. I know at least one biker with a beard larger than his face who would think these guys are the shit – there must be more. When music sounds like this – it feels like the artist is having fun – and that in turn makes me have fun. Watching Los Mucus on stage, or listening to their recordings at any time of day, feels like living life through a shaky cam.  “Ocular Attorney” is a nonsensical banger of a song. “I need your eyes” is screamed throughout it along with a heaping of yelps. Perhaps a desperate call for new perspectives, or rather just a goofy line – it doesn’t really matter; it rules. This tune is controlled chaos, and goes exactly where you want it to take you – without feeling repetitive or predictable. 

Quiet Commotion – “Paint Cracks”

ffo: Elliot Smith, The Microphones, Brave Little Abacus

Emotional lofi that transports you to the foggy memory of a specific time and place. Music that harnesses its vibe and uses it to its full potential. An incredibly impressive and mature solo project of Malmö-based Quiet Commotion. “Paint Cracks” displays a restraint in its structure which gets a sick payoff in its final minute. The mellow instrumentals build into something more harrowing – but, a pleasant time all throughout! You’ll just have to check it out for yourself :). I’ve seen this 15 year old play more times in Malmö than any other act due to the sheer magnitude of gigs he plays – it’s always a pleasant half hour or so. While most of the time I’ve just been passing by and stumbled upon the lone guitar player, there seems to always be a crowd of other kids observing this quiet commotion wherever he plays.

Milo Johansson


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