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When organist Hans Ingemansson relinquished songwriting and lead vocals to guitarist Robert Jelinek in the mid-’80s, picking up a new rhythm section in the bargain, Sweden’s premier modern beat-psych combo offhandedly hanged names from the Backdoor Men to the Creeps and made a big splash in the small pond of garage punk devotees with the wickedly soulful and melodic Enjoy. The album includes several covers and numerous copped riffs, all interpolated into a powerful attack blatantly imitative of the Lyres while concurrently possessed of more range and greater attention to mood mechanics.
Several years later, the follow-up jettisoned virtually all the dirt and raunch in favor of an early funk bias to match the heavy soul pump and attitude now permeating the music. Still a terrific songwriter and strong vocalist, Jelinek rallied his backdoor troops in a high energy romp through the underside of the pop and “black” charts circa mid-to-late-’60s, albeit with ’80s urgency and production values. An interesting development, but Now Dig This! isn’t as good as the first LP, substituting style for rage, budget for exuberance.
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