FILE UNDER: HARDCORE, ROCK IN A COP'S FACE
The key to any rock movement worth revering has proved to be a sort of self-righteous anger—so why are so many good, loud, pissed-off punk bands coming out of Sweden? It's gotta be Ikea. Spend a Saturday afternoon in one, and you'll be angry enough to start 10 hardcore bands that all sound just like C.AARMÉ. The sound and the fury of the great early American 'core bands oozes from C.AARMÉ, whose PR sheet claims they've never heard Black Flag or Bad Brains. Yeah, right: several songs (“The Gag,” “Total Trash”) on this self-titled disc could be Rock for Light outtakes. It's as if none of the crap that's ruined the word hardcore ever happened: C.AARMÉ takes the old hardcore pimples-'n'-hormone fuel and updates the sound without a trace of metal or slick production. They even re-create the old Chuck Dukowski bass-guitar murk from early Black Flag. The lyrics seem to be random gibberish—a primary-color bad acid trip like an Ikea showroom floor—but at this speed, who can tell? It's still as beautiful as a rock in a cop's face.