Record Review - 2 June 05 2002

It's strange that the passive pop generated by bands like the Acid House Kings now seems like a cultural relic. There was a time when airy vocals, soft keyboards and waltzing acoustic guitars seemed revolutionary. But ever since the arrival of Heavenly and Belle & Sebastian, low-rent bands like Wolfie have been foisting themselves upon an unsuspecting horn-rimmed public.

So Sweden's Acid House Kings have this unfortunate predisposition to contend with: the knee-jerk antipathy most twentysomethings feel toward coy, too-precious popsters. Which is unfortunate, because in its finer moments, Mondays Are Like Tuesdays and Tuesdays Are Like Wednesdays replicates the sort of moody, evocative pop sponsored by the Siesta label. Julia Lannerheim's vocals are light as meringue. And when they top tangy, sour ballads like "She Keeps Hoping" and the St. Etienneish "Swedish Hearts," the combination is heavenly. Less successful are the songs handled by Niklas Angergard. Though he manages bounding pop numbers like "You're a Beautiful Loser" with the requisite prettiness, too often his tracks seem needlessly cloying.

Perhaps unfairly, the Kings' reign is limited by the relentless familiarity of their chosen style. Charming as they are, the Acid House Kings are simply the latest in a line of bashful suitors growing longer all the time.