First off, some history: Satanic Surfers played a major part in the Swedish melodic punk-rock explosion that took place in the mid nineties. Combining strong melodies and fast paced punk-rock with both personal and political lyrics, the band soon reached audiences all over the world. Early influences include bands such as SNFU, RKL and The Misfits. The band was originally founded by Rodrigo and Erik in high school back in ’89. After having gone through the usual line-up changes during its formative years, their debut EP “Skate to Hell” was recorded in ’93. After doing the first two pressings by themselves and selling more than 1,000 copies in a couple of months, the EP was re-released by Bad Taste Records in August ’94, as the first Bad Taste release ever! However, by this time Burning Heart Records had shown interest in the band and the second EP “Keep Out” was released on BHR in September the same year.
Before recording their debut full length album, the band made a line-up change that probably, more than anything, would define the sound of the Satanic Surfers; Rodrigo took over the vocal duties while still playing the drums. Now the band was ready to take on the the world! Satanic Surfers released three consecutive albums on Burning Heart Records between ’95 and ’99: “Hero of our Time”, “666 Motor Inn” and “Going Nowhere Fast”, with “Hero of our Time” being their most successful release to date reaching 60,000 plus sales. This was during the golden years of melodic punkrock and the band did numerous successful tours in Europe, Canada and Australia with bands like Millencolin, Lag Wagon, Good Riddance and SNFU. Their extensive touring paid off and they soon had a strong following of loyal fans wherever they went, making them one of the biggest punk-rock bands to come out of Sweden at that time.
In 2000, the band decided it was time to make some changes. The collaboration with Burning Heart Records was terminated and Satanic returned to their friends at Bad Taste Records. The two following albums, “Fragments and Fractions” (2000) and “Unconsciously Confined” (2002) showed the band using a less complex songwriting style, with shorter songs. More touring followed and in between the two albums Rodrigo made the decision to hand over the drumming responsibilities and concentrate solely on the vocals. This meant that the band would have a frontman for the first time since 1994 and as a result the live shows became more energetic and the band toured more than ever during 2002.
But enough history. There’s a new Satanic Surfers album about be released on September 12th (slightly different release dates in some territories), the third one on Bad Taste Records. It’s called “Taste the Poison” and sees the band returning to Berno Studios in Malmö, for the second album in a row. After some down time following the 2002 tours, due to members leaving the band and a general need for some time off, Satanic Surfers actually began writing songs for this album more than two years ago. Everyone involved agreed that, since there were no tours booked and no deadlines to meet, there was no rush to record the album. Instead the most important thing was to gather the strongest material possible and enter the studio with the best Satanic Surfers songs ever. With Andy (bass) and Robert (drums) joining Rodrigo, Fredrik and Magnus in 2003 and 2004 respectively, the pieces fell into place and after completing a string of shows during 2004, the band was ready to enter the studio in May 2005.
So what does it sound like? Well, I think it’s safe to say that while the new album has a more aggressive edge to it than the previous two, the music is still based on the melodic vocals that Satanic Surfers are known for. Soundwise it’s superior to all the previous albums, with a clear and powerful sound. When listening to the finished album, you can tell that the extra months put into writing and arranging the songs was time well spent. The songs sound more focused than in a long time. It’s kind of a mixture of the older and more recent sound of the Satanic Surfers, making “Taste the Poison” an album that the entire band is extremely happy with! And finally, what about future plans? You guessed it: touring, touring and more touring. Among other things they will be touring Sweden for the first time in seven years and they will finally make it across to the U.S. for the first time ever!