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Makthaverskan have returned with a brand new two-song single "Demands" b/w "Onkel." The A-side is the band in classic form: jangly guitars, memorable bass lines accompanied by a driving drum performance all help to push vocalist Maja Milner’s soaring words into the stratosphere. On the opposite end, "Onkel" is faster paced, building up into a crescendo that recalls influences like the Cranberries and the Cocteau Twins.
Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, the post punk five-piece roused a worldwide following with the single “No Mercy” and the release of their sophomore album II via Boston’s Run For Cover and Sweden’s Luxury Records. The failure of love and loss of innocence that punctuated II and "No Mercy's" searing condemnation of “fuck you for fucking me when I was seventeen” later gave way to a new worldview on follow up LP Ill (2017), and continue on two brand new singles "Demands" and "Onkel."
Makthaverskan’s most recent output represents the band’s most focused songwriting - III was patiently recorded over three years as a leaner four-piece with producer Hans Olsson Brookes. Where past records were collections of scattered songs, III conveys an intentional cohesion. At the core is Milner’s austere purview. She turns her feminine power against society, rather than the wreckage of her past, yet still exploring themes of what can and cannot be controlled. “In My Dreams,” takes the perspective of dreams as an opportunity to play out the grand possibilities of love, knowing that once she’s awake they're out of her hands.
Despite this, Makthaverskan are far from defeated. On “Eden,” Milner struggles to find her place in a society increasingly divided by hatred (“humanity equals misery / there’s nothing here to see / Is this what we want, or is it all we know?”). On “Comfort” she finds trust in a stranger - refusing to give up hope. In fact, Makthaverskan is a band built to overcome.
Even when Milner’s lyrics suggest the bleak, a raw, unbridled energy in contrast pulsates through III. “Witness” showcases the rhythm section on overdrive with an intensity that carries over into the erratic pace of “Eden” and “Front.” For all the disillusionment that Milner dishes out, behind her is a monolithic sound that broods in unison yet shimmers with hope.
With the band navigating through their mid-to-late twenties, closer “Days Turn Into Years” encapsulates the visceral shift in how time is felt and internalized. The band subdues its lilting chords ever so slightly and Milner slips into a lower register for the refrain. This is Makthaverskan settling in, but not relinquishing to complacency.
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