Makthaverskan – Onkel

Post punk production values are injected to the very core of ‘Onkel’, the new single from Sweeden’s Makthaverskan. The mics around the drum kit make percussive elements sound like someone’s gleefully fucking with poetic punctuation. The bass line is composed almost entirely of pout. The reverb around the vocal track echos all the way back to mid-eighties East Kilbride. This is a band who pull deep reference and issue similar rewards.

Despite the easy associations between Makthaverskan and a string of heroic influences the feeling here is not one of homage. No one is checking behind themselves, retro-fitting will to the designs of history. No one is digging into roots to embark on a relationship with the traditional modes of expression. The feeling here is that this misty production, and casual urgency to issue art, is more of a reaction to the current over-production elsewhere in the landscape.

In a world where many counter culture artists employ methods of the shiny mainstream to gain access to those big audiences/dollars, Makthaverskan refuse to apply the gloss. It is the atmosphere around a subject that feels more interesting than a commercial dissection of process.

Maja Milner’s vocal work goes delivers more height, more emotion, and more power than it did on ‘No Mercy’. That track, which previously garnered global attention for Makthaverskan as a band to watch, established a tone which evolves here. Milner’s range elevates process, and yet it also binds the more stratospheric ambitions of the tune to a very human scale.

There’s a trend, at the moment, for Swedish bands to lean into bigger markets by assimilating the styles of they consider successful. In their rejection of those styles, and the assertion of their own, Makthaverskan deliver something unique, nuanced, and real. They bring a new measure, and their scale is sound.


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