Selected by Dan Grunebaum
|Sweden' dark side
Although most associate
Sweden with the harmless pop of Abba, Ace of Base or the Cardigans, the Scandinavian
nation also has a darker side. In July, that darker side will be on display as Swedish
raunch rockers Backyard Babies bring their third and latest album, Making Enemies Is
Good! to Tokyo.
The Backyard Babies formed in 1987 when singer Nicke Borg hooked up with high school mates
Dregen (guitars), Peder Carlsson (drums) and Johan Blomquist (bass). The band toured
Sweden from their home base in Nossjo before releasing their debut indie 12-inch single,
"Something To Swallow," in 1991.
They signed with Megarock Records for their first album, Diesel and Power, which
went on to win praise for the single "Electric Suzy," described in the music
press as a lively update of the sleazy glam rock sound of fellow Scandinavians Hanoi
Following a period of inactivity during which Dregen and Andersson briefly formed a new
band, The Helllacopters, the Backyard Babies returned to the live circuit in 1997, backing
a tour by thrash outfit Social Distortion. They then inked a new deal with MVG Records for
their second album, Total 13. Appearing in 1998, the album was a hit with
unreconstructed headbangers, and included a cameo appearance by ex-Wildhearts singer
Ginger on the song "(Is It) Still Alright To Smile?"
The year 2000 saw the Backyard Babies accorded the ultimate honor of being chosen to
support veteran Australian hard rockers AC/DC on the band's British tour.
Babies play Shibuya AX on July 17-18. See
listings for details.