The Melancholy Connection

Written by: PP on 09/07/2012 05:28:04

Yes, "Kingwood" was good, but it was no "Life On A Plate" or "Pennybridge Pioneers". The truth is, Millencolin haven't been very good since their 2000 masterpiece. They've released a bunch of average records that haven't lived up to their past as the most successful punk band out of Scandinavia that isn't called The Hives. Back in 1999, they released a b-sides and rarities compilation called "The Melancholy Collection", which to date stands as one of the best Millencolin release to date, so it's only natural that its follow-up, the "Melancholy Connection", a collection of b-sides and rarities from the "Pennybridge Pioneers" recording sessions from 12 years ago, is almost every bit as good in its own right. It certainly seems like Millencolin are following a similar path as Alkaline Trio whose b-sides albums actually rank better than most of their studio output, because "The Melancholy Connection", despite only featuring two brand new songs, is the best Millencolin album since that infamous album from 2000.

Basically it says two things about Millencolin. One, they were at the absolute top of their game when recording "Pennybridge Pioneers". Not only was that album the pinnacle of their career (unless you prefer their ska-oriented output on the equally fantastic "Life On A Plate", but for that you have "The Downhill Walk" and its summery ska beat and bright melody), but when even the ten tracks they left off the album as 'not worthy' are this good, well, you have to wonder what happened since then. Two, it says a hell of a lot about the kind of band that Millencolin has been in the last decade. How many of you feel emotionally attached to their last three releases ("Home From Home", "Kingwood" and "Machine 15"), honestly? How many of you saw your music tastes change radically because of what Millencolin brought into your world of music? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

That's why as a longtime Millencolin fan it's so refreshing to hear something like "The Melancholy Connection". It reaffirms that Millencolin were the greatest punk band to originate from Swedish ever (bla bla Satanic Surfers, The Hives etc, not the same!), through songs like "The Downhill Walk", "Mind The Mice", and the fantastic "Dinner Dog" (which was also on the "No Cigar" EP, mind you, alongside "Queen's Gambit"), all of which have better choruses, better overall melody, and better execution than anything on the dreadful "Machine 15" or the rather boring "Home From Home".

But perhaps more importantly, it offers a promise of a better tomorrow. There are exactly two new songs on the record - "Out From Nowhere" and "Carry You" - both of would be the highlights on the record if it weren't for the classic "Dinner Dog". This tells me that Millencolin are at least heading back on the right track, returning to the more energetic and more skate punk based sound in the past, giving hope for a return-to-form studio album that's probably due sometime in 2013. Especially "Out From Nowhere" sounds exactly like the "Pennybridge Pioneers" era sounded like, so there's lots to look forward to: these are quite simply the best two individual Millencolin tracks since 2000, aside from maybe "Biftek Supernova".

In any case, let me put it this way. If you like "Pennybridge Pioneers", then "The Melancholy Connection" is exactly what you wanted Millencolin to release. And when you connect the dots between this release and their wildly successfuly 20-year anniversary music festival celebration that saw them headline above The Hives, Danko Jones, Nine, and many others, it's tempting to say that good things are in store for the future for Millencolin fans.

Download: Carry You, Out From Nowhere, The Downhill Walk, Dinner Dog, Ratboy's Masterplan
For the fans of: Adjusted, No Fun At All, Useless ID, No Use For A Name
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.05.2012
Epitaph / Burning Heart

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