Operating from the east Coast of Sweden since 2001, the punk and ska influences on the Fornicators are countless, but there’s nothing which feels stolen from other artists. It maintains a core of originality. Having played over a 1000 shows across the planet, and released a sizable body of recorded work, the band has found an ever-increasing audience who follow their musical blend of melody, rhythm, aggression, and humor. Guitarist and vocalist Tim, and bassist Hampus are the core of the band and are currently recording with a drummer remotely due to pandemic restrictions. The Fornicators however, find their ultimate strength and the apex of their skills in live performances, and are anxious to get back on stage.
On July 5th the Fornicators released their latest single, “La Brea Avenue”, via their own independent record label, At Your Cervix. It signals the first new music release by the group, since 2017. The song is extremely well polished, catchy, groovy, punky, melodic, and anything else you can pinpoint on what a record like this should be. Except its better, than what you think. Fornicators bring a nice instrumental mix and vocal balance that holds together perfectly in the current scene.
The guitars jangle and squeal, the drums bang, while the basslines roll along with the lively rhythm, to form a solid foundation for the stabbing horns and the gravelly, resonating lead vocal. It won’t be long before you’ll chanting and singing along at the top of your voice, as the track breaks into a crescendo of adrenaline-pumping bombast.
“La Brea Avenue” is one of those tracks you know you can blast in your car, in the club, or you can take to the beach party; it’s as versatile as that. The song takes everything serious the Fornicators have to offer, and flips into a super feeling of summer in a song with a catchy chorus that you could almost shout out without thinking of the lyrics. It’s that catchy. It truly takes the band to the next level, and may go down as their most accessible piece of music yet.
The group has moved far past their previous releases, forging a more all-embracing lane while still staying true to what got them into the game in the first place. Tim’s vocals and lyrical stylings bring new life to the group, while the must retains its overall grit and rhythmic momentum. It’s just less abrasive and rough around the edges, with a smoother outer sheen, while on the inside the core principles of their sound and lyrical focus remains strongly intact.
No doubt “La Brea Avenue” will endear the Fornicators to a much wider audience, as they subtly push their sound towards a more mainstream avenue. Which is a good thing. The more people are enticed by the sound of this single, the more they will tempted to discover the rest of the Fornicators’ discography, and hence uncover a whole new world of authentic punk and ska sounds, which have been sorely missing from the scene in recent years.
Overall, there aren’t many sounds that can make you feel as good as a well-performed groove-inducing song like “La Brea Avenue”. It delivers that typically sun-drenched Cali sound that lifts your spirits far beyond the horizon. And it’s no surprise, considering that La Brea Avenue is a prominent multi-ethnic, north-south thoroughfare in L.A., California.
I couldn’t help feel anything but positivity, while smiling from ear to ear, and bouncing around my apartment as “La Brea Avenue” blasted from my sound system. This single deserves recognition for its ability to stand alone – in an era of music moving in the craziest directions – as a great effort by a group of musicians who have perfected their craft, and know how to share it with an audience. Now that is what makes a good band, great!