Last updated: 04/16/2003 06:27:06 AM
Fredrik Granberg / Johan Brändstrom / Johan Gustavsson / Stefan Granberg
Wipe off your shoes. Dust off your suit. Randy is back in town, desperate for some cheap thrills. That’s right folks, Randy has returned to light up your boring life with a new album called “Welfare Problems”.
”It’s shaking, spinning, alarm bells are ringing/Everything is out of control/It’s inviting/It’s exciting/There aunt no doubt about it” (“Cheap Thrills”)
Punk rock today is as rebellious as smoking hash at the Roskilde festival. Punk is a market strategy, a cliché, a torn t-shirt from H&M. Maybe the times when rock music could be dangerous are over, but Randy at least put the FUN back in rock. Where other punk bands secure their market shares by doing the same tired record over and over again, a new Randy record is always a thrill, always a surprise.
Their last album, “Human Atombombs” was a spicy punk-stew, where old chiefs like Little Richard and Dr John helped stirring the kettle. “Welfare Problems” is more firmly rooted in the late seventies. Traces from such separate sources as Motörhead, Cheap Trick and Dead Kennedys can be heard. Despite the influences, “Welfare Problems” are by far the most personal recorded Randy has ever made. The expression is often aggressive, like in “Dirty Tricks” or “Cheater”. Randy is known for being an outspoken political band, and they still seem to have their heart in the right (sic!) place. “A Man in Uniform”, for example, is a bitter reflection on the riots in Gothenburg 2001, where one man got shot by the police.
” Time may be eternal but my patience is not/Gonna give it all that I got/For some it may be nothing but for me it’s a lot/It’s all that I got and all that I got is/Ruff stuff/Stuff that’s ruff” (“Ruff Stuff”)
But the most unique thing about Randy is their ability to mix serious political analyses with “no brain-no pain”-anthems like “Ruff Stuff” or “Cheap Thrills”. Somebody described The International Noise Conspiracy as a mix of Guy Debord and the Who. Think of Randy as a combination of Michael Moore and AC/DC. This is music with Das Kapital in one hand and a Jack Daniels-bottle in the other.
They also show clear evidence of self-knowledge, when describing the harsh reality of their daily life: ”My back hurts cause my bed is too hard/Some blow is stuck on my credit card/I feel sick when I play my PS2 and my Gamecube too” (”Welfare Problems”). It’s called a sense of humour, something that 99% of all political bands are lacking. Randy knows the first rule – it has to be fun and you have to be able to shake your butt to it. Then add the message.
“Welfare Problems” is the third Randy album in a row produced by Pelle Gunnerfeldt (the song “Cheap Thrills” is produced by Jocke Åhlund (Ceasars Palace/Teddybears) though). It’s recorded in Pelles already legendary Studio Gröndahl. Pelle has previously scored a couple of Burning Heart-chartbusters with The International Noise Conspiracy and The Hives. On “Welfare Problems” he has really managed to capture the astonishing energy that Randy send out on stage. Despite the bustling tempo, there is a relaxed and effortless feeling over the record. For example in “X-ray Eyes”, the most low-voiced moment of the record. Maybe Randy’s first radio-hit?
”New countries, new cities, new streets but never did I see them alone/Me and the boys go 24-7 through 24 different timezones” (“My heart my enemy”)
With several successful tours in the last couple of years, both on their own and with bands like NOFX, Propagandhi, Sahara Hotnights and The Hives, Randy has built an impressive fanbase across the globe. Now everybody is just waiting for Randy to take it to the next level. “Welfare Problems” is the next Big bang coming outta the Burning Heart office. The xx of April it hit the stores. And the XX of April the boys load the van once again to beat the streets of Europe! The dates are up on their new website www.randytheband.com.