The Sloth has banged on before about our love of The Muppets and the influence Animal, in particular, had on our formative years. So we approached We Are The Best!, a tale of three youthful girls forming a punk band, with the wry nod of recognition. Ladies after our own hearts.
Set in 1980’s Stockholm it follows 12 year old best friends Klara (Mira Grosin) and Bobo (Mira Barkhammar). Caught at that difficult age between the naivety of childhood and the illicit excitement of the teenage years, they share a love of punk and irrepressible energy. Discovering an all male band have booked out the rehearsal room at their local youth club, they decide to form their own band, primarily to irritate the boys. And despite possessing zero musical talent, our heroines pen a shouty ode entitled ‘Hate The Sport’, whose lyrics will resonate with anyone picked last for the school PE team. The Slits would have been proud.
But enthusiasm can only go so far. Realising their musical limitations, they rope in classmate Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne). A sensible, devout Christian, Hedvig isn’t an obvious partner in anarchy, but she is a demon on guitar. Fully formed, the ladies set about advancing their musical career with a succession of gigs, self-promotion and becoming groupies to a fellow Swedish punk band.
As an evocation of youthful friendship, it’s a delight. Played with complete naturalism by the three girls, it captures the exuberance and do-or-die defiance of their tender ages. Slyly humorous, it hits just the right tone of gentle irony, observing their foibles without mocking. And with a soundtrack of pogo-tastic and often hilarious punk gems, including the magnificently titled ‘Brezhnev and Reagan, F*ck Off’, what’s not to like? Stick a safety pin through your nose and swear your way to your local theatre.
In the mood for some more music? Try Twenty Feet From Stardom.
UK release 18 April