I always make an effort to check out the various Manifest Awards nominees because, inevitably, there's always at least a few quality names that have previously escaped my attention. I don't worry so much about who actually won or who was unfairly passed over, I just want new music. As for the punk category: I'm already a fan of Vånna Inget and happily grabbed a copy of their excellent LP via 1-2-3-4 Go! Records; Obnoxious Youth's stiff thrashy hardcore is not my thing at all, but kudos to them for winning; and I must confess, I don't know Black Feet at all, but that will be remedied eventually. Which leaves Sju Svåra År, a band that I've been aware of for awhile, but never fully investigated until very recently. Shame on me, because they are ruling female-fronted melodic punk, not too dissimilar from the aforementioned Vånna Inget or other acts like Masshysteri and The Vicious. So yeah, right up my alley -- especially when they combine exquisite vocal harmonies with raw grit like on tracks such as "Pappa". I may have neglected to track down a copy of their LP before now, but that will soon be remedied.
Sju Svåra År is the name of a very promising new Swedish punk act featuring ex-members from Burning Kitchen, Satirnine and Wolfbrigade. The band already has a 11-song LP under their belt that they are shopping around, so expect to hear lots more about them soon. In the meantime, hear a few samples at myspace: http://www.myspace.com/sjusvaraar