Under the Radar

1. Your Up Gets Me Down
2. Drive Through The Night
3. S.T.S.
4. Tonight's The Night
5. Wanted: Hope And Pride Before I Die
6. When You Lie Down With Dogs
7. Under The Radar
8. The Get Out
9. You've Got Blood On Your Hands
10. We're All Gonna Die!
11. Love Bells

Kent Norberg (V & G)
Hans Gäfvert (Kb & samples)
Chips Kiesbye (V & G)
Heikki Kiviaho (B)
Michael Solén (D)

Wanna Start A Fire! (1986 som Sator Codex)
Slammer! (1988)
Stock Rocker Nuts (1990)
Headquake (1992)
Barbie-Q-Killers vol. 1 (1994)
Stereo (1995)
Musical Differences (1998)
Basement Noise (2006)



Released 2011-02-25
Reviewed 2011-02-12

wild kingdom

In Sweden this band recently got under the radar again when the Swedish beer brand Norrlands Guld (Gold of the Northern Lands) used their big 90’s hit I Want to Go Home in their commercial that rolls daily in national television. And as if in some sort of complot the national movie channel TV4 Film started to show the 90’s movie Polismördaren (The Cop Killer) where the same song have a central place. And 250 000 fresh views on You Tube later, Sator now release their new album, ironically called ‘Under the Radar’ and anything but a new success couldn’t be expected… or is it?

In many ways, Sator still sounds very much 90’s on ‘Under the radar’. The guitars feel 90’s, the structure of the songs feels 90’s and the overall sound is 90’s sound. It seems like Sator missed those ten years that passed during the 00’s when you play ‘Under the radar’ and I’m going to be so bald to say that this actually feels pretty unlike the band to be that predictable. I’ve always seen this band, who released their first albums during the mid-80’s as barely 20 years old, as young and aware of how things are rolling, even if their music by tradition has kept itself inside pretty strict lines. Well, by now the band members have reached their mid-40’s and as the second album released the last 13 years my guess is that Sator just don’t keep up with time that good anymore. They probably have families and lives beside the music and with home and children to tend it easily results in the music stays where it was. Either that or they want to roll on the recent re-awaken interest in I Want to Go Home and do an album similar to that sound? Or maybe there’s a combination of both.

My spontaneous reaction from playing ’Under the Radar’ is that it feel at least 15 years older than it actually is. Everything from sound quality to overall sound and how the music and singing actually sound is as they’ve taken it from the first half of the 90’s. The galloping guitars and rock ‘n’ roll melodies and the simplicity in how the music is structured. The album, however, can’t really deliver a fresh sound, instead it feels like the band have found some unreleased tracks and released them. The vocals are unpolished and shouty, which is the same impression as the production gives – shouty and unpolished. I don’t feel invited in to the album, except pherhaps from Your Up Gets Me Down that start the album and is really good. But beside from that, the album bounce away like two magnetic poles of the same sort. It twist and turns just to avoid coming to you and if you want to come to the album you really have to struggle and that is just wrong, in my opinion. Another problem is that it lacks hit songs that stand out from the rest. I find one, and it comes last. And is a ballad. Hardly how we want to hear Sator in public.

Overall the album rolls by in a hurry. It’s still a good speed and rush on Sator, but it gets very static and monotonous after the first song has ended. It’s first by the very last songs, with We’re All Gonna Die! and Love Bells, that the album once again deliver something that have energy and alive. The album feels short, and is short – only about 37 minutes. This is something that's good with the album.Most songs are quite dull and the music pretty similar all the way through but thanks to how fast it ends you feel like putting it on repeat a couple of times isn’t that bad. Unfortunately, that’s when you really discover the weakness of the album. Once you play it over and over three-four times you are so fed up with it that you don’t want to hear it again.

Me, I like Sator. It’s a band that has delivered much quality during the years and even if it’s been a bit quiet around the band the last ten years, they still proves that they are very much alive on ’under the Radar’. Unfortunately they do it much too little. Most of ‘Under the radar’ is songs they could have gone without, but the peaks are so high that this album still is undoubtedly strongly approved. But instead of putting themselves under the radar, I think Sator should have used the radar to find more songs that have the same quality as the peaks on this album. Because then a new success wouldn’t have been something to argue about.


Label - Wild Kingdom/Sound Pollution
Three similar bands - Nemas/Aerosmith/The Rolling Stones
Recension: Caj Källmalm