Swedish Magazines return with instant-classic video Bottles & Barstools

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Swedish Magazines return with instant-classic video Bottles & Barstools

Swedish Magazines
Words by Lucas Radbourne

Swedish Magazines' new music video not only captures the fun and nostalgia the band embody, it's also a cracking song.

“I wish life could be Swedish magazines” – Iggy Pop, “Five Foot One”, 1979

Fronted by the irrepressible Van Walker, Swedish Magazines are a delightfully raucous Melbourne punk outfit.

Originally hailing from Tasmania, Van and his brother Cal’s band bridged the divide between the Cosmic Psychos, Powder Monkeys, and Amyl and the Sniffers and Civic.

If you’re unfamiliar with their work, Bottles & Barstools is the perfect way to get acquainted and probably fall in love.

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Bottles & Barstools features the band’s second line-up, with Johnny Gibson on drums and Lachlan Rimes on bass. The original Swedes line-up, which also features on the new collection,  with Anton Ruddick (lead guitar) and Tim Durkin (drums),  is now back together.

They’re in the midst of recording a new album and are set to play live shows, including the Old Bar and Geelong’s Barwon Club in October. They’re in the process of recording new material for a new album, their first since 2010’s Wino Havoc.

It plays heavy on the nostalgia with a montage of the best beer-related videos from film and digital mediums over the years, set to a very catchy, high-tempo and highly emotive blend of guitar riffs and Van’s phenomenal vocals.

There’s a tinge of sadness underpinning the entire song due to Van’s highly expressive, desperate vocal refrains that adds another dimension entirely. It’s reminiscent of the best of Buckcherry’s work.

Van has also had a distinguished solo career, releasing a series of acclaimed albums including 2020’s Ghosting, which helped propel the return of the Swedes.

It’s singalong chorus is influenced from Van’s folk forays – should appeal to fans of Rancid and the Dropkick Murphys and is an unmistakable classic in that style. As should other tracks from the era including “You Never Wanted It” and “Think Tanks A Million”. These are great songs with great melodies and wry, literate lyrics – plenty for fans of Van’s solo work to love too. 

The band are releasing a best-of collection titled I Wish Life Could Be on Rubber Records, it’s also their first vinyl release. The CD will include a handful of tracks drawn from two live-in-the-studio sessions recorded in 2005 by Melbourne’s PBS-FM.

Swedish Magazines upcoming shows

THE OLD BAR, Johnson St, Fitzroy
Swedish Magazines, w/t Warped, The Devours & Thee Cha Cha Cha’s
Sat 16 Oct

The BARWON CLUB, Moorabool St, Geelong
Warped 30th Anniversary Show, w/t Swedish Magazines, Future Tongues & The Cha Cha Cha’s
Fri 22 Oct

Pre-order I Wish Life Could Be here or follow Swedish Magazines on Facebook here.