REVIEW: Swedish Punk-Rock Band, Bash Brothers, Pull No Punches on 'Downhearted'

Bash Brothers, a four-man punk rock lineup hailing from the town of Eksjö, Sweden, recently dropped their sophomore album Downhearted on February 8.

Bash Brothers features vocalist Johan Engdahl, guitarist Linus Blomberg, drummer Richard Hansson, and Robert Serra on bass.

This newest album consists of 12 shredding tracks, and it is a great addition to their discography -- showcasing how well the members of Bash Brothers work together with consistent, pounding, high-energy songs throughout Downhearted.

The album kicks off with the fast-paced track “It’s Not the End of the World,” which truly sets the tone of the album in terms of dynamics and energy. It is not the heaviest track on Downhearted, but Engdahl still throws in fun teasers of some rougher vocals. Overall “It’s Not the End of the World” is a catchy punk song that anyone could jam to.

Another highlight is the first single that Bash Brothers dropped from the album, a track called “Guiltless,” which starts off with crashing drums and quickly adds in some soaring guitar to really grab the listener’s attention.

This song builds to a compelling bridge, and Engdahl's vocals come across with potent emotion and desperation. The last line of the song sums up the theme, and with the clarity granted by dialed back guitar and drums, he yells, “No, time won’t heal these wounds.”

“The Easy Way Out,” also released as a single, is a standout. It is an aggressive track dealing with heavy subject matter – calling out someone who appears to be self-destructive in a selfish way.

While still ambiguous, it deals with the anger and hurt experienced by people who are closest to someone who commits suicide. Engdahl calls out in the bridge, “You only think about yourself, you don’t care for others and you’re choosing the easy way out/You better think again before you leave all those lives behind.”

The guitar riffs are still wild in “The Easy Way Out,” but most of the instrumentals are not as in-your-face as some of the other songs off Downhearted. An appropriate choice, because the powerful lyrics speak for themselves.

The album closes with the aptly named “Fade Out” where Engdahl opens the song with intense vocals, and the intensity never dies down from that point. The electric guitar work is superb, and “Fade Out” features a memorable guitar solo right after the bridge, which is just as fun to listen to as it is to respect.

Bash Brothers' new album Downhearted is a superb showcase of modern punk rock, but they certainly have put their own stamp on it and incorporate some metal aspects. It is an intense album and a great listen.

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