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The Soundtrack Of Our Lives: Throw It To The Universe

The end of their Lives.

After 16 years, this is the farewell release from Swedish psych-warriors The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. Curiously, it’s not an all-guns-blazing finale.

Indeed, initial listens leave you feeling deflated and disappointed. But soon the album wheedles its way into your consciousness and you realise frontman Ebbot Lundberg is probably right when he says: “It’s the best we’ve done.”

No longer the musical equivalent of a coiled spring, Throw It… instead sees TSOOL winding down like an old clockwork soldier. It’s imbued with a melancholic feel and many of the songs seem bittersweet reflections on the band’s demise. ‘Someone said we’re about to dissolve into oblivion,’ Lundberg sighs on When We Fall; ‘We say hello to say goodbye,’ he intones on the title track.

Hair-flailing is at a premium; only Faster Than The Speed Of Light recalls the often-rampant band of old. But that doesn’t matter when there’s stuff of the calibre of Where’s The Rock (The Shadows gone flamenco), Reality Show (a genuinely weird nursery rhyme that may or may not be a critique of the Big Brother generation) and the shimmering Solar Circus.

And if you’re at all worried about the Apple-isation of the world, check out Busy Land, a harrowing extract from ‘the book of Jobs’ featuring Lundberg at his best: both acerbic and world-weary.

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.