[sic] Magazine

The Janitors – 15 Years Of Fuzz And Folköl

Germany has the people’s car in Volkswagen and Sweden has a people’s beer in Folköl and that goes some way to explaining why Sweden has more good bands than Germany. Even if it is a low-alcohol variety, it shows the Swedish state and her people have their priorities correct. Something’s got to get you through those long winters, right? Proud over-consumers of this light neck oil, Jonas and Henrik formed psych-rock project The Janitors fifteen years ago and this aptly titled new release is a celebration of this fruitful time, rounding up 23 unreleased rarities for a retrospective, nine of which ended up on the vinyl (the remainder coming with a digital download).

Recently having no real concern for anything except liquid streams of deep stoner meditation, tenebrous dirges and all-encompassing fuzz, the album is a refreshing look back to times when everything wasn’t quite so black and doom-laden. Consequently, we encounter strutting garage-rock that will be of interest to BRMC fans and which takes real pleasure in drawing back to bare its teeth before going in for the kill, classy oscillated-abetted Gospel borrowed from the neo-psych Spiritualized camp (its delicate melodies still toasted around the edges with distortion), back-masked wind chimes and chants that blow in like sacred prayer and even sorrowful echoes in the form of “City” that bring to mind Primal Scream’s woozy “Star” from Vanishing Point before the tracks heads off for more psychedelically charged waters.

None of which is to say that 15 Years Of Fuzz And Folköl doesn’t deliver on its promise of noise too, “In Love With The Riot” dining out on a blown-out maelstrom of crunching feedback and a sludgy Blues groove, the gloomy “Epileptic City” hitting heavily in turn with surging, strongly reverbed choruses that pull at the cheeks as they whoosh past, and all eight and half minutes of “Black Electric” come dedicated to mind-losing drone and throbbing scree, a vaguely Eastern guitar riff almost obliterated entirely in its wake. When you’ve got this much calibre in reserve, it’s no wonder The Janitors are truly the people’s band for people in the know.

Best track: “I See It Now”

~15 Years of Fuzz and Folköl is released April 19th 2019 via the collaborative efforts of Cardinal Fuzz and Little Cloud.~