Rideau – Rideau (Mutiny Records/OMN)

Genre: Punk/Metal

Sweden has a formidable reputation for producing urgent, adrenaline fuelled rock that’s played with intelligence and verve, see Refused, The Hives and most recently, the outstanding Black Temple. Rideau therefore, have a lot to live up to, but thankfully their self-titled debut pulsates with energy and fires you up with its rousing choruses and raw passion.

Listen to the incendiary Bloodshot, or the dark, swaggering Shameday and you know that this Stockholm trio have fire in their bellies – and the ability to write a tune or ten. And what tunes they are, from the short, sharp I Guess It’s So, which brings to mind The Hives at their best, to Reverend Bob, with its juddering riffs and infectious hooks, to closer December, which hints that there may be a big ol’ post metal band lurking somewhere in their collective psyche. At near 10 minutes long, it’s a surprising way to conclude the album, yet the sense of loss and frustration December conveys is so powerful that it’s almost crushing… and then there’s the sax solo and heavy, Eastern vibe which suddenly appear as the track starts to burns itself out. Ambitious stuff maybe, but they pull it off with ease.

So then, some serious talent emerges from Sweden – yet again.