Young Acid Premiere Murder at Maple Mountain in Full; Album Out Friday

Young Acid Murder at Maple Mountain

Sweden’s Young Acid release their debut album, Murder at Maple Mountain, this week through Majestic Mountain Records. And while there’s a reference to “Wasted Again” perhaps winkingly worked into “Bigger Little Man” and songs like “Fightmaker Street” and “The Kids of Rumble Village” realize the declaration of purpose one finds in the blue text’s self-applied tag “punk rock band” below, that’s a fraction of what’s going on across the energetically heavy rocking 10-songer’s deceptively varied 34 minutes themed around the work of Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindgren (The Tomten, Pippi Longstocking, what’s translated to English as The Children of Noisy Village, and so on). By which I mean, if you read that and think to yourself, “ugh stoner punk nah I’m good,” you’re going to miss it.

I don’t know when or how the assemblage came together, but Young Acid boasts the lineup of vocalist Arvid Hällagård (GreenleafSleep Moscow, etc.), guitarists Alex Stjernfeldt (Grand Cadaver, Skrckvldet) and Andreas Baier (Besvärjelsen, Vorder, etc.), bassist Martin Wegeland (Domkraft) and drummer Svante Karlsson (The Moth Gatherer), and between the mostly divergent arcs these players have respectively walked in different bands and styles, it’s only fair Murder at Maple Mountain should be and do more than one thing sonically. But for a world gone mad, there is something escapist in Young Acid‘s sometimes-careening course; a drive toward simplicity that comes through in the straightforward structure of opening track “Into the Depths” and the also-sub-three-minute “Fightmaker Street,” but even there, the melody is more rich than raw as Hällagård lands in a falsetto and the guitars correspondingly layer flourish on fuzz. Maybe it’s just that the songs are short and catchy?

Because they are that. The longest of the bunch is closer “2002” at 4:10, which arrives with a quiet intro of guitar with a line of piano accompanying and, like a lot of Murder at Maple Mountain, is quick into its verse. Slow and spacious, with dramatic chug and heavy post-rock atmospherics on guitar coming together to bolster the emotive vocal and the roll of drums in the brief but resonant finish. Side A’s nodding capper, the 3:43 “Woodshed Blues,” picks up from the shuffle-into-the-crescendo “PV 444” with a surprisingly massive groove, full in tone and the embellishments of lead guitar in and around the verses, with a smooth transition to the chorus to echo the momentum of the preceding four tracks even as it finds its own way. “Woodshed Blues” doesn’t hold to its tempo pullback in the way of “2002,” but it’s not supposed to.

A janglier strum launches “The Crust” at the start of side B, but if it was marketed as desert rock à la earlier Queens of the Stone Age, one wouldn’t argue the point as it twists through the push of its hook, vital but poised. “The Kids of Rumble Village” and “Shortcomings and Longstockings” follow in succession, the former with a bridge that could just as easily be black metal if you key in on the sharper guitar but that’s still fueled by the punkier edge around which Young Acid‘s focus centers, if not exclusively — if you told me it was one of the earlier songs that came together for the record, I’d believe it — and the latter emphasizing the you-can’t-tell-us-what-to-do attitude of the song before it with its own fuzz-drenched urging, which is given further kick from the snare count-in of the penultimate “Run Boy Run” (premiered here).

young acid

And even that, driving as it is in the spirit of “Fightmaker Street”‘s Stooges-y leanings fleshed out with echoing slide guitar and Hällagård‘s e’er bluesy croon, is more than the sum of its parts in terms of aesthetic, putting expanse on top of a sure, dead-ahead rhythmic underpinning before “2002” leans more into melancholy sway for the goodbye. Between the complexity with which Murder at Maple Mountain unfolds, its thematic nuance, its melody, its breadth of tone from Wegeland‘s anchoring low end to the highest reaches in Baier and Sternfeldt‘s guitars, its cohesion of songwriting despite the range and being nobody’s “main band” at this point as well as the first Young Acid release, and its cast of characters in a five-piece who’ve all adopted the first-name Mio for the project, it’s easy to see where perhaps a simple idea was gradually built into something that reaches further in concept and execution.

In ways both toxic and stupid, the broader cultural expectation of learning — at least in the US — is that at some point you give up picture books for chapter books. The books that helped you learn how to feel empathy, that introduced you to character, to stories, to the beauty and rhythm of language are suddenly off limits for not being grownup enough. I won’t decry the value of novels and other words-only collections as either instructive works or art, but this is ridiculous and it divorces the human brain from engaging with art on a personal level in a way that people spend the rest of their lives trying to correct either through their own creative work — and perhaps that’s the case here to some extent; seeking refuge in reengaging with Lindgren — or not, to their own maybe-unrealized detriment.

One doubts Young Acid set out with the direct intent of celebrating kids books as a primary motivator, but among its other accomplishments in craft and sound, Murder at Maple Mountain reminds that our ability to imagine worlds didn’t just happen out of nowhere, and that some of the most meaningful statements are made with plain language, whether it’s “I love you,” or “there’s a bee on your shirt.” Given that everybody in the band belongs to at least one concurrent outfit, it’s difficult to guess how often a Young Acid record might show up if another one ever does, but for the unexpected intricacy and magnitude of the work they do here, it seems only fair to say Murder at Maple Mountain lives up to the scope of its foundations.

The album streams in its entirety below, followed by the tracklisting and more info from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Youth Acid, a punk rock band based in Vimmerby, brings together members from various underground institutions to form a garage rock alliance. With raw guitar riffs, intense energy, and a rebellious spirit, they pack a punch.

1. Into The Depths
2. Bitter Little Man
3. Fightmaker Street
4. PV 444
5. Woodshed Blues
6. The Crust
7. The Kids Of Rumble Village
8. Shortcomings And Longstockings
9. Run Boy Run
10. 2002

Recorded at Welfare Sound, CrookedTeeth and Midlake Production
Mixed by Per Stålberg & Kalle Lilja at Welfare Sound
Mastered by Johan Reivén (Audiolord)

Young Acid is:
Mio Hällagård – Vocals (Greenleaf)
Mio Stjernfeldt – Guitar (Grand Cadaver, Novarupta)
Mio Wegeland – Bass (Domkraft)
Mio Baier – Guitar (Besvärjelsen, Vordor)
Mio Karlsson – Drums (The Moth Gatherer)

Young Acid on Facebook

Young Acid on Instagram

Young Acid on Bandcamp

Young Acid on Spotify

Majestic Mountain Records on Instagram

Majestic Mountain Records on Facebook

Majestic Mountain Records store

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Young Acid Premiere Murder at Maple Mountain in Full; Album Out Friday”

  1. Mark says:

    I mean, you had me at Greenleaf… Add Grand Cadaver, Domkraft and Besvarjelsen and I’m hitting the pre-order button. Probably need to check out The Moth Gatherer now…

Leave a Reply