The Cosmic American

Single Review: Fornicators’ ‘No Sweet Home’

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Swedish band Fornicators have an impressive resume. Their current single, “No Sweet Home,” is the latest from a forthcoming new album that’ll hopefully be released soon.


Fornicators have been releasing a quality mix of punk, ska, and rock since 2001. In addition to many singles, EPs, and albums, they’ve played over 1,000 shows all over the world. Led by guitarist and vocalist Tim Hysen and Hampus Norrgen on bass, they currently record with drummers remotely. They only fully flourish in a live setting, though, and they’re hoping to get back to playing live shows soon.


Their classic punk ethos is clearly laid out in their songwriting, especially the topics they cover in their lyrics, which are filled with stories of working class struggles and general hardship. “We want to tell stories in which fans can recognize themselves and hopefully find catharsis and comfort,” the band says.


Their extensive discography bears this out, and you can find many of their singles and collections on their website. Their debut EP, 2002’s Brat and Punks Division, already found them expertly combining punk and ska in a fresh way, especially on tracks timebombs like “Fairy Tale” and “Jail Cell.” More expansive tracks like “Summer Nights” showed their versatility from the start.


All Punx are Pirates, another early release, is even more fun and energetic, especially opening track “Yesterday’s News.” “Samba” found the band channeling their inner Rancid, as they often do, and “Pirates” was another step forward songwriting-wise.


Fornicators last full-length, 2017’s With Right to Bear Limbs, shows how much time and honing your craft does for a band. It’s like their earlier stuff only fresher, more creative. The hooks are even more plentiful and the songs are crisper. Highlights include opening “Rebellion,” “Love to Hate You” (which is almost Bowie-like in its melody), and “It’s a Metaphor,” which is led by a super rad, and fast, bass riff.


The band has been busy the last few years releasing singles as well. 2021’s “La Brea Avenue,” with its Grand Theft Auto-themed artwork, begins as a silky smooth, almost soulful pop/rock track, before transforming into something more ska oriented. Another single from 2021, “Long Way Around,” chugs along with some cool, almost Offspring-like rhythm electric guitar, and the bagpipes give it a distinctive Celtic rock feel. Going back to 2018, “Wicked Town” is something of a suite, fluctuating between one of their heaviest songs, effortless midtempo punk, and some ska elements.


Their latest single, recently released “No Sweet Home,” is another classic Fornicators track. It begins with an interesting, almost avant-garde layers of ticky tack piano. The chord progression is, go figure, reminiscent of Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home.” It’s a really cool way to intro the track, both as a nod to its quasi-namesake and because it’s different than what comes after.


What comes after? Four minutes of Fornicators bliss. It chugs along in classic Fornicators fashion with its combination of punk energy and melodic intelligence. The simple but effective chorus might be among the groups best, and the songs lyrics are typically true to life:


There was a time
she can remember
When her family
did things together
Now theres a dark cloud that divides em


The track ends with the same nod of ticky tack piano to “Home Sweet Home,” bringing it full circle. It’s another strong addition to the bands catalog, and will hopefully be a harbinger for what to expect on the new album they’re working on.

Erik Ritland is a songwriter and journalist from Nashville, Tennessee. He's released 13 records and EPs, most recently 2021's innovative movie album Old Dog Almost Gone. His journalism has been featured on Something Else! Reviews, Music in Minnesota, and more, and his articles have been shared by members of bands as diverse as KISS, the Monkees, Son Volt, and Low Cut Connie.