Swedish New Wave group sensation, The Sounds, stopped at UCSB’s Hub on Monday, October 20, on a world tour in support of their third and newest album, Crossing the Rubico, released in June.

The Hub, where I had lunch with an open book the day before, transformed into a semi-raging venue (beer garden included) the moment the opening act, Foxy Shazam, an experimental rock group, took the stage with an infectiously wild energy that the audience threw right back at them. Over waving hands and jumping heads, I caught my first glance of the lead singer, Eric Nally, when he briefly crowd-surfed, sometime before or after standing on his head. The six-man band’s musical style invokes the band-the legend-Queen, and a touch of Mars Volta, with songs like “Wanna be Angel”, which successfully pumped up the Hub for the night’s main attraction: sexy blonde bombshell Maja Ivarsson and bandmates Anderberg, Rodriguez, Nilsson, and Bengtsson.

The Sounds performed tracks off Crossing the Rubicon, which they recorded at their own expense after dropping their producers and creating their own label, Arnioki Records. The context of the creation of the album is more impressive than most of the tracks they played from it, though, with the exception of the album’s catchy lead single, “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake.” Despite so-so tunes, the sexy-cool Ivarsson, rocking a onesie, hoodie, and strappy black stilettos, succeeded in bringing us in tight and wild around her, cigarette in hand, making for an energy-rich show the audience dug.

Still, ultimately, it was Foxy Shazam that stole Monday night’s spotlight. It’s only a shame the Ohio natives didn’t get to play longer, leaving us wanting more.


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