Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The Tough Alliance may be known for making great music, but they are equally notorious for their onstage antics. The Swedish duo have become known for such nasty behavior as swinging a baseball bat at a live audience and only singing along to a handful of their pre-recorded songs. As much as this kind of rock star arrogance makes you dislike them, there's also an inherent allure that makes you want to experience them for yourself.

Hailing from Gothenburg, along Sweden's west coast, Henning Fürst and Eric Berglund have released music since 2004, but, except for three EPs, A New Chance is only their second album. In the meantime, the duo has also provoked fierce reactions with controversial gigs—the press has even accused them of glorying violence. Anyone who has actually caught the band live will tell you that the only anger you encounter is just a reaction to the short set, however.

For its international release, A New Chance has found a fitting home with forward-thinking dance label Modular Records. Along with bands such as Studio, there seems to be a current wave of Swedish electro sweeping our discos, but, by comparison, TTA are more vocal and their beats bounce around the album like volleyballs. The album is predominately electronic, but "Miami" mixes in a few acoustic guitars. "Looking For Gold" expands TTA's excellent synth pop and adds a surprising dash of reggae, while single "First Class Riot" makes you want party all night long—despite the title's suggestion. If you're still ambivalent, then think of it this way: if you don't buy the album, TTA may come after you with a baseball bat—then force you to dance the night away.

For more information, see www.thetoughalliance.com.

—David Hellqvist

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