Album Review: Millencolin - The Melancholy Connection

14 June 2012 | 12:13 pm | Benny Doyle

This is the perfect way to begin your Millencolin journey, or suitably conclude it.

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In 2000, Swedish skate punks Millencolin wanted to take things to the next level. They debunked to LA, jumped in the studio with Bad Religion stalwart Brett Gurewitz and emerged with Pennybridge Pioneers. It proved to be the album that took them around the world and in the 12 years that have passed has been recognised as their definitive body of work.

An extension of their ten-year anniversary tours and what is likely the final homage to those songs, The Melancholy Connection is 14 tracks – originals, b-sides, off-cuts – but far from forgotten scraps; this is actually a great album on its own merits. In fact, gauged against the hot and cold albums released since Pennybridge..., this collection of tracks could go down as one of the quartet's best bodies of work and arguably their most punchy and consistent record since the turn of the millennium. With Nikola Sarcevic pushing his register to the higher end of the spectrum, new track Carry You and its stadium-worthy chorus wouldn't be out of place on a Foo Fighters record. Meanwhile, songs like The Downhill Walk and Bull By The Horns deliver all the best bits of Millencolin; simple nostalgic lyrics, blunt riffs and straight-up drum beats, every element executed with streamlined efficiency.

The real treat here for fans, however, is the 90-minute movie that chronicles the making of the landmark Pennybridge... album. Storyboarding the tracks with tales from the studio while splicing it with recent live footage from around the world, it's entertaining and really captures their time in California. This is the perfect way to begin your Millencolin journey, or suitably conclude it.