Dagobert's Revenge

Bogus Blimp

Men - Mic

Yet more proof that the most innovative and unconventional music these days is coming out of Norway. Who knows what it is about the frosty hinterlands that encourages this tendency towards offbeat creativity, but they are a stalwart and valorous people known for charging unflinchingly into uncharted terrain. This uncommon mix of sportive theatrical and cinematic pop tunes is a welcome change of pace. In addition to being good structurally, most of these songs have a cuteness to them, and almost a quaint old-fashionedness. The first song, “Jazz/Speech” a Keystone Cops car chase style with some kind of St. Pepper-type voice announcing stuff over an intercom. #2, “Sweets & Love”, starts out sounding dark and evil but then livens up and becomes more like an action scene from Austin Powers. The singing on this track and on the rest of the album is done by the band leader, Christian Mona, who manages to conjure up that throaty Linda Blair voice from The Exorcist. (Why do Norwegians sound so malevolent when they speak?) Actually Linda Blair’s voice was replaced in that film by a voice-over artist who created that sounds by eating raw eggs and smoking cigars, so that tells you how monstrous the vocals are on this album. Track #3, “Hush Now”, sounds even more Stygian, with Mona’s seething lupine voice telling a lurid tale. In the next one, “In/Exhale”, the vocals get even more astringent as the music gets more black-metalish. “Brains”, the track that follows, is taken largely from an instrumental record called “Brains and How to Get Them”, from 1913, very entertaining. By the time you get to the next song, “Even More”, you’re certain that Mr. Mona is part European, part fang-bearing hound, and the one after that, “891”, gives you the sense of a carousel ride gone horribly wrong. The final track, “Inside Here”, resembles something that would be cranked out of an old-time Nickelodeon. All eight songs go by so fast that you almost feel cheated, but this is really only because they don’t drag and become boring. Definitely a rara avis.

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