pretty much from its inception, Kråkesølv has been a wonder band in the Norwegian music scene. when I first saw them live they were a modest but truly great band with an affection for feedback and jangly guitars on one hand, and an affection for poppy vocal harmonies and instantly recognisable chord progressions on the other hand. we all expected these guys to go have some sort of mainstream appeal due to that latter hand. and we all know they were good. but I don’t think anyone – let alone the band – expected the kind of success they have achieved. we’re talking about a small diy band based in the North of Norway (in Norway, most bands with any overly serious intention of living of their music move to the south and the capital, where most of Norway lives), that got a Norwegian Grammy award nomination. and how? by touring a lot, and by putting out their album by themselves (with some help from a distribution company called Diger). in other words: by hard work. this is the album that put them in everyone’s ears and on everyone’s lips. this is Trådnøsting. and though I fear this album will appeal to 99% Norwegians, and maybe Danish and Swedish people who understand some Norwegian, and maybe 1% non-Norwegian-speaking people, I will strongly encourage you right now to check it out even if you are English, Russian, German, what the fuck ever. music knows no language barrier. sadly, lyrics do. so a lot of you will never truly get how extremely well written these songs are. however, you can experience how well crafted the chord progressions are, how hypnotising the instrumental parts (the end of “Hjørnebrikke” is perfect) can be, and how wonderful it is when they on a seldom occasion give up their tight control of everything, and it just explodes. my only problem with this album is that sometimes it might be a little too skilful. they run a tight shift, resulting in tight riffs. this works out. but it’s maybe a little flat and contained. at times I catch myself thinking, what if they just thrashed this part? what if they just went nuts here? what if there was a wall of feedback and screaming here? but I guess that’s just not what Kråkesølv are about. and it might be just as well, because this is something quite special. also, there *are* some feedback here. there are some “moments of weakness”, where the temptation of jangling a bit gets too big, and they just give way for that little piece of feedback on “Skredder”, or that little bit of perfection that sounds like French screamo – wtf – on “Blanke Føtter”. this is a mix between BritPop like Muse, Norwegian folk rock like Halvdan Sivertsen, and American emo like American Football (listen to the fantastic album closer “Kastes” for a great example on how to do American Football-esque emo without being a Kinsella rip off/tribute/worship band). this is fucking great. get it if you haven’t already been blessed with this little music wonder. if you are in Norway you no doubt know where to buy this album. if you’re not from Norway, check http://www.krakesolv.no/ – and the lads will probably give you a helping hand.
archive for September, 2010
already present on this blog is Benjamin Finger’s great Woods of Broccoli and Beneva vs. Clark Nova’s Dramadadatic (Benjamin Finger is one half of Beneva vs. Clark Nova, if you did not know that already). the first mentioned is introverted, often minimalist and very moody. the Beneva vs. Clark Nova album was a far more upbeat and joyous affair. these two polar opposites sort of come together on this album. it does just as good a job at being downhearted, as it does at being upbeat. and Benjamin Finger proves to be a master of many widely different styles. there’s soothing synths, glimmering strings, and ethereal vocals that form a dreamy atmosphere. then all of a sudden that atmosphere gives way for catchy blip blops and kicking drum beats. everything changes rapidly and ever so often. I’d like to mention that the cover (which was designed by Bryan Voel, by the way) is gorgeously executed. its mix of mostly colourful and vivid images make up a collage. this is noteworthy because the music is in many ways the same. a collage of mostly colourful and vivid images. it’s near forty minutes long, but time really does fly when it comes to this album. very much helped by the endless mix of infinite sounds and genres. it’s not exactly unpredictable or random, but it’s really clever and very pleasant to listen to. it’s a blip and a blop and a glitch and a pop. get this. you should definitely buy it from http://www.howisannierecords.com as well. it’s well worth the money.
Ethan has a new band, and gravity is restored here at that’s punk. The Whoopass Girls are a healthy mix between messy punk rock, pretty emo and very experimental rock. it features straightforward pummelling drums, jangly guitar riffs, screams, off-key vocals and the like. the American Football tinged “I Think We’re in the Sunset Room at the Hilton” alone is great enough a reason to download this album.
all fans of upbeat and happy pop music will no doubt remember back when I posted Hit Factory (if you don’t – you might want to go download their EP a little further down). Vicious Mixtapes aren’t as grand-sounding. they take a little more floating and dreamy approach. it’s a tranquil and broad sound, sort of reminiscent of Incubus’ “Aqueous Transmission”. for fans of rock music with much pop appeal! get this.
we weren’t quite done with Discovery Of A Lifelong Error with the last post on that’s punk… because in 2008 Creature E.P. was released. it featured a second guitarist called Marc. this version of the EP has some tracks extra though, not all of which include Marc. anyway, on this EP Discovery Of A Lifelong Error shows more composure. not saying that shit is *calm*. not at all. but the songs are longer, and not as acute. it’s still badarse fucking screamo though, so GET IT. this EP includes two songs you already have, just so you know it.
in 2006 Discovery Of A Lifelong Error were formed outside of Sacramento, California. they played their first shows in early 2007, and released their first CD in April. this is that CD. and it’s filled with spastic fucking thrashers. hard and fast and noisy like Bravo Fucking Bravo, unpredictable like The Locust, and overall exotic like The Blood Brothers. sudden changes in vocal style, smooth shifts of focus, and abrupt changes in meter are frequent. the main style of vocals are this hostile high pitched scream that pierce your eardrums greatly. the lyrics share the apocalyptic nature of The Blood Brothers, as well as the eccentricity. lines like «this stallion is a living breathing hearse» are not uncommon. the guitarists play all sorts of wacky chords and scales, but make sure that it all fits together at the end of the day. which is really nice. because you never get the feeling that this band are just showing off. they are focused and precise in their relentless thrashing. this band rules. check them out. the last track is quite amazing.
from Portland, Oregon we get the four man shoegaze band Anne. the guitars and synth clash into a massive sound, and vocals that blend into the soundscape beautifully, you get a sort of Joy Division meets Whirl sound. at times it is downbeat and melancholic – but not to the extent of Joy Division, and at times it is upbeat and optimistic-sounding. give this a go if you’re into well-crafted and catchy shoegaze. each and every song has its great pop hook.
El Spectre are a Western Mass screamo band, and this is their demo from August. it’s sort of between Noisy Sins of the Insect, Lizards Have Personalities and Oh, Apollo! they vary between beautiful instrumentals parts with perfect twinkling guitars, and jangly upbeat parts with screams, soaring guitars and crashing cymbals. El Spectre are also noteworthy in that they have pretty short songs, but manage to be really epic in those time spans.this is fucking great, and you should definitely download it.
New Zealand isn’t the most prominent source of mid-west emo (go figure). but here you have some. the loud and treble-y guitars play chord progressions that are so precise and catchy that Trampoline Dreamers could probably have been a Britpop band if they really wanted to. but instead, the upbeat drumming, screaming guitars and reverb-heavy vocals sound like a mix between west-coast bands like Evergreen and The Pine, east-coast bands like Ethel Meserve and Texas is the Reason, and mid-west bands like Braid and Boys Life. The Promise Ring is also a name that will no doubt ring a bell for Trampoline Dreamers. anyway, enough of the name dropping. Trampoline Dreamers fuzz their way through nine colourful and cheery jangly emo tunes. get this!
this post concludes the Agna Moraine’s Autobiography discography, and showcase them at their probably most melodic and detail-attentive. the guitar sound is quite mellow, allowing the twinkling to blossom. but they still manage to go into chaotic energy crashes every now and then. this is the essential last piece of your Agna Moraine’s Autobiography. but it’s also an introduction to another glorious ’90s emo band. RentAmerica are just as known for their emotional (and quite confusing) live performances, that included a lot of blast beats, crying, guitars flying around and very loud shouting (they did not use a microphone, supposedly deeming it elitist), as they are or their music. which is probably just as emotional (and confusing), if not even more. this is pure fucking emo violence. blast beats, feedback, shouting, screaming. it’s five minutes of complete and utter chaos. this band destroys in a similar vein of Honeywell, and you need to check them out. so even if you weren’t a fan of Agna Moraine’s Autobiography (impossible!), you need to download this to check out RentAmerica.