Millencolin: Kingwood

By Kelly Johnson

Everyone knows punk music is a limited genre.

There are only so many three- or four-chord combinations that haven’t been shamelessly aped by 20 sound-alike bands from your old high school. This leaves little room for experimentation in the strictest sense of punk music.

For some reason, though, a simple guitar riff you’ve heard countless times before can grab you in a new way if used properly.

On its new album “Kingwood,” Millencolin is able to take those simple riffs and stick in pretty darn catchy melodies as well. The results are not always spectacular, but for the first half of the album, the band manages to crank out some genuinely enjoyable tunes.

The first couple of barnburners, “Farewell My Hell” and “Birdie,” deliver mixed results with lyrical content but successfully kick-start this bad boy with proper ferociousness. The first is a poignant letter to a father detailing a boy’s justification of committing suicide, whereas the latter drowns awash some cringe-worthy clichés.

This success and failure rate continues to dominate the album. The shining moments generally blur out the filler, and that isn’t bad for a bunch of middle-aged Swedes playing punk music.