On December 8th, Sweden’s own Diablo Swing Orchestra will be releasing their latest effort entitled “Pacifisticuffs” via Candlelight/Spinefarm Records, and let me tell you, this could be one of the strangest, yet incredibly freaking infectious records I’ve heard this year!
Diablo Swing Orchestra is composed of Daniel Hakansson on guitars/vocals, Pontus Mantefors on guitars/FX/vocals, Kristin Evegard on vocals/piano, Anders Johansson on bass, Johannes Bergion on cello/vocals, Martin Isaksson on trumpets/vocals, Daniel Hedin on trombone, and Johan Norback on drums. Kristin Evegard’s work on the writing showcases a somewhat different direction for Diablo Swing Orchestra since their 2012 release entitled “Pandora’s Pinata”.
“Pacifisticuffs” starts off with the anthem “Knucklehugs(Arm Yourself With Love)”. The drums that Norback will immediately get the crowd on their feet and clapping. Evegard showcases more of a sassy, Broadway meets Gwen Stefani of No Doubt type of vocals while the harmonies in the vocal arrangements. Oh, you expected something conventional? In the words of Kofi Kingston of WWE’s The New Day, OHHHHH NOOO!!! Do not expect conventional arrangements and formula based arrangements in any track at all. The brass section that Isaksson and Hedin provide on the trumpet and trombone makes this ditty a knockdown dragout fisticuffs meets somewhat of a skankpit feeling for old-school ska fans. Confused yet? Buy the damn album on December 8th then.
“Pacifisticuffs” transitions into “The Age Of Vulture Culture”. It has the sass of the swing movement ala Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and Brian Setzer, while Kristin seductively soothes us over with her sexy siren type of voice that is expected to be heard at a burlesque show. The cello that Bergion provides with the brass arrangement immediately showcases Diablo Swing Orchestra as world-class musicians, yet they take the unconventional approach in their music. “Superhero Jagganath” mixes a bit of metal with ska and jazz, again unconventional approach, yet it’s absolutely infectious. Kristin’s vocals are somewhat of departure from their previous vocalist Annlouice Logdlund, who left to pursue a career in the world of opera.
The arrangements are infectious, there is a beautiful ballad that is somewhat conventional in there for the song “Ode To The Innocent”, which showcases a beautiful arrangement along with the vocals. It is hard to wrap my head around this album, simply because I haven’t heard anything this unconventional and THIS eclectic in awhile, yet in a strange sense, the arrangements are impeccable and Diablo Swing Orchestra is simply on point when it comes to “Pacifisticuffs”. Madness To Creation rates it a 9 out of 10 stars.
Here is the track listing below!
- Knucklehugs (Arm Yourself With Love)
- The Age Of Vulture Culture
- Superhero Jagganath
- Vision Of The Purblind
- Lady Clandestine Chainbreaker
- Jigsaw Hustle
- Pulse Of The Incipient
- Ode To The Innocent
- Cul-de-sac Semantics
- Karma Bonfire
- Climbing The Eyewall
- Porch Of Perception
Check out “Knucklehugs(Arm Yourself With Love)” below!
Check out Diablo Swing Orchestra at the following locations: