Agent Side Grinder – “Jack Vegas”

May the 4th was with you, and it most definitely was with Agent Side Grinder, with their brand spanking new album, Jack Vegas, Out on Progress Productions, the Swedish provocateurs of post-punk, doused in dark electronics, is composed of members, Johan Lange (synthesizer, keyboard, programming, percussion, backing vocals) and Peter Fristedt (modular synthesizer, tape loops), with Emanuel Åström (vocals).

Photo by Haris Mlivic

The not so gentle thrumming pushes into your ears, stirring your senses in the “Waiting Room“, a sensation of anticipation and nervous energy surging forth from this first track. “Number By Number” ramps on the building synths and crashing guitar, while the vocals chant, and “Bloodless” definitely has the air of dark crystalline beauty, as well as show casing the singing of lead vocalist, Emanuel Åström, in the spine tingling, swirling chorus.

There is most certainly an early 80’s, post-punk feel to the maudlin “Madeleine“, as the drum machine rattles and the synths drone, making key changes very noticeable. There is something so very profound in what sounds like wild winds blowing frigid into your soul. “Flaws And Flame” wavers between grimy and angelic remorse, as the electronics screech in the background, before we get a bit funky with the title track, “Jack Vegas“. In Sweden, Jack Vegas refers to cheap slot machines, and the chiming keyboard riff has taken on the edge of a tune of a one arm bandit, after another loss, and the pressure builds, as the machines lull the addicted players.

It is so nice to hear the voices of Åström and Lange together in “Decipher“. You could swear you can hear a harpsicord creating an elegance over the drone and supporting the heart melting vocals. We come to the final track, “The Unravelling“, and honestly, the atmosphere could be described as oppressive and yet sensual, as the electronica caress your nerves.

Jack Vegas has been a very anticipated album, especially after hearing the guys last year, featuring on the Kill Shelter track “The Necklace“. So, after hearing Jack Vegas, I am not disappointed. In fact, it is a bloody amazing darkwave album, and in many ways, Agent Side Grinder are reminiscent of Joy Division, creating beautiful music within the shadowy sphere of human limits and emotions. Perfection.

Jack Vegas | Agent Side Grinder (

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