Possessing the energy and excitement of early AC/DC and even a vocal whiff of Bon Scott, Swedish Magazines have always played that rock ’n’ roll the way you’re supposed to. Featuring buzzsaw guitars and hard driving beats, it’s the kind of contagious we don’t mind at all. Today the band release ‘I Wish Life Could Be (Best of 2004-2011)’, a compilation of the very best of this vital Melbourne-based rock unit.

Existing originally in the first half of the first decade of this century, the Melbourne band, formed by Taswegian singer/songwriter/guitarist Van Walker together with his brother and Cal, played – and are about to play again – a varied and richly toned high-energy sound that mixed classic Bon era-AC/DC with early 70’s Flamin’ Groovies and Sonic’s Rendezvous Band. With the occasional bit of the Sex Pistols and maybe the Stiff Little Fingers for good measure.  Or something like that. They had – have – great songs, a superb vocalist, and a hefty sound. In terms of then-contemporary comparisons, think Sweden’s Hellacopters with a bit more punk and a lot more Oz Rock.

The Swedes were, for a while, mainstays on the inner city Melbourne rock’n’roll scene centered around venues like The Tote. They followed the likes of the Cosmic Psychos, Hoss and the Powder Monkeys, and set the scene for today’s world-shakers Amyl & The Sniffers and others like Civic and Mr Teenage.

Swedish Magazines mainman Van Walker is the same Van Walker who has collaborated with Liz Stringer and Jeff Lang and released records on Mick Thomas’ Croxton labels amongst other labels and is known in roots/folk circles as one of the finest singer-songwriters this country has to offer. His latest solo album Ghosting on Green South Records has received universal raves and was voted #2 best album of the year by the readers of Rhythms mag, and he brings that lyricism and depth of soul and his great voice to his rock music as well. Don’t just take my word for it:

“Songwriting isn’t so much something Van Walker does – it’s more something that defines what he is.  It all seems to be a means geared toward the end that is some sort of ideal of an illusive classic song. Already he has scraped far closer to this end than many could ever, or will ever hope to get. ” – Mick Thomas

To celebrate the release of I Wish Life Could Be, Swedish Magazines are heading out on tour to save our rock ’n’ roll souls and show us all what live rock should really feel like.


NOV 26  Marrickville Bowlo, Sydney
w/t Leadfinger & Jupiter 5

NOV 27 Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland
w/t Leadfinger

Dec 3 Old Bar, Melbourne
w/t Warped, The Devours & The Cha Cha Cha’s

Jan 14 Barwon Club, Geelong
w/t Warped, Future Tongues, & Cha Cha Chas


THE SWEDISH MAGAZINES’ I WISH LIFE COULD BE… is out November 19 on Rubber Records, on LP, CD and digital formats. The CD will include a handful of tracks drawn from two live-in-the-studio sessions recorded in 2005 by Melbourne’s PBS-FM.