State Of Samuel Mutiny On Mercury

Growing up in the small town of Varberg on the west coast of Sweden must be very inspiring because it has helped Samuel, the sole permanent member of the State Of Samuel, write songs by the dozen on his acoustic guitar. His nickname of "the lo-fi king of Sweden” is well earned — he released six cassettes of songs between 1998 and 2001 and is also involved with two other bands. But Mutiny On Mercury is his first proper album to be released in Canada via Edmonton’s Humblebee Recordings. With most of the 17 songs clocking in at just over a minute, Mutiny On Mercury flies by in just over 26 minutes, making some of the songs feel almost incomplete. And while that is fine from time to time, after the third or fourth time it becomes frustrating. Sometimes Samuel can say everything he has to say in 90 seconds, but other times, it is more like a demo for a song that he hasn’t finished writing yet. There are some wonderful moments on Mutiny On Mercury (particularly when his solo guitar is backed by a few more musicians), but there are also some other songs that are rather ordinary. There’s no denying that Samuel is a talented and prolific songwriter, but he needs to increase his level of quality control before he makes a truly great album. (Humblebee)