It's nothing you haven't heard before, it's just sheer exhilarating pop music as a purgative, redeeming force...

As the song says, it’s been no holiday. After their 1997 album ‘Bagsy Me’ cemented The [a]Wannadies[/a]’ reputation as the Swedish power-pop pranksters it was OK to like, the band promptly disappeared from radar – despite their best-known tune ‘You And Me Song’ turning up on everything from film soundtracks to shampoo commercials. Their retreat (the result of protracted wranglings over how their label RCA was pitching them, subsequently resolved by a change of personnel at the label) left The Wannadies with a bad taste in their mouths and a hellbent resolve to return with a sharp retort of tunes that detonate like a flourish of miniature fireworks.

Enter ‘Yeah’. Recorded in New York with ex-Cars tall man Ric Ocasek, much of the LP sounds – [I]quel surprise[/I]! – like The Cars. Or like ‘Cars’, by Gary Numan. Which is great, actually. Ocasek’s production lends a slickly compact, hard-edged efficiency to The Wannadies‘ distinctively euphoric guitar-cuddling – positioning it somewhere between ’80s electro synth-pop and cartoon metal. Each song comes on like a full-throttle bungee jump, all bludgeoning guitars and layers of fizzy keyboard noises that positively demand to be played at window-rattling volume. The Wannadies may not have spent the last three years in fits of innovative experimentation, but they’ve been gathering energy like an incipient hurricane.

[/I]). The LP reaches its emotional nadir in the echoey, string-infused ‘Low Enough’ – one of the few moments a real sense of anguish slips through Ocasek‘s ergonomic sonic net.

Nevertheless, by penultimate track ‘Ball’, The Wannadies have forged a resolution. [I]”Grow up grow old and die/It’s all a waste of time”[/I], Pdr Wiksten sighs, before a crunch of guitar smashes pessimism to bits and he continues, [I]”…Lord knows we’re having a ball”[/I]. It’s the new [a]Wannadies[/a] attitude writ large – sometimes life stinks, but fuck it, turn up the music and let’s have fun while we can. ‘Yeah’ isn’t deep, and it’s nothing you haven’t heard before, it’s just sheer exhilarating pop music as a purgative, redeeming force. Sometimes it doesn’t need to be anything more.