Subwaste / Tommy Gustafsson & the Idiots - Split (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Subwaste / Tommy Gustafsson & the Idiots

Split (2008)


New-ish record label Warbird Entertainment drop a double dose of `77 punk with their Subwaste / Tommy Gustafsson & the Idiots split. Boasting 12 tracks from two Swedish bands, it's a pretty good collection of retro punk jams.

Subwaste, the lesser of the two groups, takes care of the first six songs up front. They're adequate and rough and they pass by easily enough, but there's really nothing much going on. The best compliment I can offer Subwaste is that they're at least as good as anything on Hellcat Records. Ultimately, though, songs like "Barely Eighteen" and "Final Blackout" never transcend the era they're influenced by. I'd rather just listen to the real thing than a tribute act.

Tommy Gustafsson & the Idiots, though, make a bigger impact through a synthesis of punk, rockabilly, and general catchiness. Owing as much to the Blasters as he does to Lars Frederickson and the Bastards, Tommy Gustafsson and his stupid friends are a band worth checking out for those of the punk rock persuasion. The highlight of their half is "Love of My Life," a Rancid-esque tribute to the power of music. It's frenetic and passionate, and while it's still not the most original style ever, it's certainly fun.

While not a perfect split -- I'd be just as happy if Subwaste was cut in order to make this a Gustafsson EP -- it does offer some gems. At the very least, I'll be keeping an ear or two trained to whatever comes from the Idiots later in life.