Peter Bjorn and John -Writer's Block
Sun 3rd Sep, 2006 in Music Reviews
Swedish trio Peter, Bjorn and John, perhaps unfairly, have quickly earned themselves a reputation as Triple J’s ‘flavour of the month’ band. Their single Young Folks has been on constant rotation and has, according to JTV, become the station’s most requested song. One can only hope that the band doesn’t disappear just as quickly as other so-called ‘indie anthems’ on the Js â€” does anyone remember who sang Cows with Guns or know where Liam Lynch is these days?
Thankfully, Peter, Bjorn and John’s third album Writer’s Block is packed with fantastic tunes, not just the single (which I do think is fantastic, by the way, despite having it thrown at me almost every time I turn on the radio). Anyone who’s a fan of The Concretes gets a treat here, as Viktoria Bergsman’s beautiful voice accompanies Peter on Young Folks. (If you’ve never heard of The Concretes but like what you’ve heard of Peter, Bjorn and John, do yourself a favour and pick up their self-titled album â€” if you don’t like it but you like these guys there’s something seriously wrong.)
In fact, anyone who’s also a fan of Britpop should love these guys; Belle and Sebastian, Blur, Oasis and even The Beatles all occasionally shine through. However, anyone who’s not will most likely find Writer’s Block to be a real struggle.
Notable tracks include the laid-back ‘Amsterdam’ and the almost danceable Up Against the Wall. Let’s Call it Off features some very catchy hand-clapping and is probably the album’s best track overall. It keeps things simple, not elaborating on the pared-back sounds which clearly are best left untouched.
Writer’s Block was recorded in the basement of a bar called SjÃ¶hÃ¤sten (The Seahorse) in the Swedish town of Hornstull (a part of Stockholm), where Bjorn and Peter both live. It is at The Seahorse that the trio also host their own club called Lucky You.
For someone who hadn’t heard of Peter, Bjorn and John before Australia’s ‘alternative’ radio picked up on them, I was extremely impressed by this album. In fact, chances are I’m going to go and find their first two as well (Peter Bjorn and John and Falling Out, 2002 and 2004 respectively). And, if they decide to make the trip to visit us any time soon, I’ll be there will bells on.