Swedish duo of Lisa Pyk-Wirstrom and Cissi Efraimsson have successfully blurred the gap between punk and psychedelia in their debut album. With ten punchy girl-powered songs they range in subject matter from jungles to wolves. Evidently inspired by a whole load of bands from The Velvet Underground to Kraftwerk, the songs on “Live Wild Die Free” are explosions of uniqueness.
The opening song “Trolls” talks of coming from “the mountains” and “the forest”, “to spread a disease” – a fable/fairy tale-like story that talks of mystical creatures and adventures. Choir Of Wolves sees the girls howl like wolves at the beginning before a rhythmic, beat and huge guitar riffs. The fast tempo of the song gives an almost animalistic impression, an unpredictability which is a quality this album offers and makes it so interesting. Cissi said about the track: “It’s about escapism and frustration. It brings up questions like what is instinct and what is learned? Who am I without my society? We want people to let the animal out a little more often.” We get the impression these two girls are having a hell of a good time expressing themselves.
There’s something about this album that mirrors Angela Carter’s subversive gothic stories, stories of the subconscious. “Vision Tricks” explores the idea of mystery, pleading for a character to “drop [their] mask.” A criticism of the album could be that it features songs that are very similar, “We Ride” is another screamy, fast-paced track that features a haunting hook, using an echo that reverberates throughout. “You never know who’s listening.”
“Too Young To Die” is a personal favourite, crashing drums and juddering riffs image teenage post-punk rockers bouncing in a moshpit discovering a new sound, and loving it excessively.
“Spider Spider” and “Jungle” complement each other, a tropical sound in which nature and bringing nature to life is the forefront of the lyrics. “Jungle” especially, is like a children’s nursery rhyme personalised by these two girls and is absolutely individual to this band, the style of the majority of this album is a mashup of Scandinavian pop rock and British girl punk rock and could possibly only work for “Vulkano.”
“Clap Your Bones” is a dark idea put into a happy, jumpy track. The contrast of the melody and lyrics is odd, but it works. The album culminates in “Psycho Girl,” which visualises a perfectly appearing girl with a psychotic mind. The inspiration for this track could be themselves, one of the girls literally “meows” during the final song as her arguable unstable voice climaxes.
Although the album is good, you get the impression it is the live performance that could make this duo. An energy-fuelled gig packed with power and aggression, married with advanced electro sounds. The album cover is worth mentioning too, another contrast, a rainbow exploding from a volcano behind a girl with 4 blurred eyes, an apparent amalgamation of the two girls. Weird, brilliant.