With the Swedish lo-fi scene growing fast in the mid-'90s, Loosegoats were one of its more successful acts.
They were formed in Lund in 1994 by singer, guitarist, and songwriter Christian Kjellvander, drummer Johan Hansson, guitarist Jens Lowius, and bassist Marten Lofwander, when the four teenagers decided that Sweden needed a lo-fi band that was musically talented and had a good attitude. They rehearsed four times, and two weeks later, the first demo, Back in Slack, was recorded. That resulted in good reviews, gigs, and attention. And they also got the attention of punk-based record company Bad Taste Records. In May 1995, their debut mini-CD, Small Lesbian Baseball Players, was released on that label to critical acclaim. It sold quite well for an independent release, and was also released by New York-based Underhand Records. But a planned trip to New York for gigs and recordings was suddenly cancelled when more Swedish offers were accepted. Several big labels were interested in signing Loosegoats, but in the end the band decided to go with Startracks, a small but successful record company with artists like Fireside on their roster. In March of 1996, after Marten Lofwander was replaced by Anders Tingsek, the band recorded two EP's worth of material in Stockholm with producer Pelle Gunnerfeldt. The first EP for Startracks, Mule Habits, was released in May 1996, and in autumn that same year, Country Crock hit the shelves to great critical acclaim. The title track was played a lot on Swedish national radio, and Loosegoats started recording their debut album. Before the recording began, guitarist Lowius left the band, and Magnus Melliander replaced him. On March 23, 1997, For Sale by Owner was released, with 15 powerful songs, including a cover of Waylon Jennings' classic "The Dukes of Hazard Theme." After the release of the album, the band toured heavily in Sweden with several festivals on the schedule, including Hultsfredsfestivalen, Sweden's biggest rock festival. Later that summer, Startracks collected the four EPs on a low-priced album called A Mexican Car in a Southern Field, a record long-awaited by fans, as the EP had long been sold out. In late 1997, the band continued touring, and singer Christian produced his brother Gustaf Kjellvander's band Sideshow Bob, whose debut album, Invasive Confusion, was released in 1998. Despite their young age, Loosegoats were a very competent group, both musically and lyrically, with half-American Christian writing all the lyrics. Kjellvander reunited the band briefly in 2012 and recorded Ideas for to Travel Down Death's Merry Road. ~ Tommy Gunnarsson, Rovi