Love in Stockholm
Charlie Rockwell, Brendan McBrien, Dave Carroll, Evan Sanders, Alex Staley, Jesse Humphrey
The Boston Dig referred to them as a “DIY band’s wet dream come true.” The Phoenix branded them a “thinking man’s party-time band.” So what is it about Allston mainstays Love in Stockholm that stirs the loins of critics and fans alike?
According to Jagger-esque front man Charlie Rockwell – whose skinny jeans, on-stage bravado and microphone manhandling make a Stones comparison not out of the question – the band’s sexual energy is in its roots. After all, that is what tends to happen when you start a band in college and live in Allston. But even as this fraternal sextet gladly plays raging shows to their core fans here in Boston, to label them as strictly drinking music would be an unfair assessment.
For one, their ambition has led them to accomplish much more than most bands that started playing basement shows for “free beer and girls” ever do. Love in Stockholm has one successful Pledge Music fan-funding campaign under their belt, has played a CMJ showcase, and is booked by Simon Says booking (run out of Western mass). In 2011 alone, they toured as far as Milwaukee, played 100 shows, and are looking to surpass both those marks in 2012.
Secondly, the band demonstrated a bit of cerebral power by naming their band after a psychological phenomenon: Stockholm Syndrome. Observing hesitation by new fans at their shows, Love in Stockholm makes it a goal to sonically kidnap and convert the cynics by the end of every performance. Citing their success in this regard, Charlie states “we see that happen pretty much everywhere we play – the resistance, and then the submission.” If you’re confused as to how it all works, the band recommends watching Predator and it will all become clear.
And then of course, there is the music. Smart, complex, horn-ridden and catchy enough to incite sing-a-longs way past when the music has stopped, all six LIS members have derived a lasting formula for feel good, swagger-heavy tunes that at the very least can’t not be enjoyed, and at the most are riveting and triumphant. Oh, and they’re tight as all hell.
Get a dose of Love and Stockholm’s offering in the session videos of “Running in Place” off King’s Ransom and the unreleased “Devil is On His Way” above, and let us know how empathetic you’re feeling towards your new sonic captors afterwards in the comments!