The Swedish group ABBA manufactured some of the most intoxicating and disposable pop music of the 1970s. Or so it seemed at the time. Who would have imagined that their songs would develop wider acclaim in decades to come on disc, on Broadway and in the movies. Intoxicating, yes; disposable, hardly.

A hard-rocking quartet from Australia crashes the American shores with a fresh perspective on ABBA music. The group called Audioscam has commandeered 10 familiar, hummable tunes, re-imagining each as a power-rock anthem. Beginning with “Money Money Money,” Audioscam’s Roger Gold and Ross Wedding fill Abba’s songs with sweeping guitar riffs. Slowing the tempo from Abba’s famed bounciness, they deliver a crunching “Rock Me” sliced by an interlude of piercing guitar licks. They also take “Voulez-vous” on a six minute excursion that flirts with prog rock.

Dispensing with Abba’s trademark girl-group voices, drummer Brian Pitcher sings the lead vocals; the group harmonies on songs like “S.O.S” and “Mama Mia” sometimes reference such great Anglo-pop acts as The Sweet. Inventively deploying his tom-toms, Pitcher neatly pushes “Waterloo” and “Ring Ring” in a catchy glitter-rock direction. The idea works brilliantly, re-connecting Abba’s first two British hits to 1974 when the glitter trend ruled Britannia.

Australian Sun Records (ASR1012)

Thanks to
Joseph Tell
For this submission