The Soundtrack of Our Lives have released three albums of lissome rock and roll that have never properly found their way into this country. That changes with the domestic issue of the Swedish outfit’s most recent album, 2001’s Behind the Music, which charmed critics with its devout evocations of past eras.
It’s not so much that TSOOL reprise ’60s psychedelic pop and classic ’70s rock grandiosity as that they extrapolate those themes in deliciously unexpected ways. The opening "Infra Riot" beats heavy with driving rock largesse, but its tuneful progressions are enchanting. TSOOL trip from ghostly, organ-heavy art rock ("Broken Imaginary Time") to cresting anthems ("21st Century Rip Off") to pleading, lovelorn pop ("Nevermore"), avoiding the saccharine riffs of countrymen the Hives in favor of auspiciously melodic songwriting. Yes, there is an element of ceremony — you can almost see the guitarists preening and bandleader Ebbot Lundgren posing idol-like through the layers of rhythms — but it only eases your acceptance of their wry world. On "Mind the Gap," Lundgren boasts, " ’Cause we’re taking over/If you got nothing to say/Yes we’re taking over/So we might as well blow you away." In a rock world thirsting after such confidence, consider that mission accomplished.