Opening like Van Halen, which is a little disconcerting, Ålesund must not have known what had hit it, the beautiful art nouveau western Norwegian town more used to the arrival of holidaying silver surfers heading into town from the cruise ships than an influx of edgy rock trios. A little reminiscent of ridiculously talented blues rocker Pat McManus, together with drummer Ivar Loe Bjørnstad and bassist Ellen Brekken, Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen (that's the guitarist pictured demurely on the cover seen above) kick hard into powerful blues-fuelled heavy rock on this album recorded at the remote state of the art Ocean Sound studio where Nils Petter Molvær recorded Baboon Moon. You might possibly need to wait a few months or longer until your hair grows to the requisite length to listen to Enfant Terrible but no matter: ‘Liquid Bridges’ has some great routines cycling through woozy effects, and climbing motorcycle chords where Bjørnstad can really stretch out. On ‘Rastapopoulos’ the tipping point of the whole album is clearly reached and the band reaches more interesting improvising territory from thereon in, hearty riffs on ‘La Boule Noire’ the most obvious feature, while ‘Pity The Children’ probably requires you to switch your lighter on and wave it about above your head and think serious thoughts for a minute. It’s probably even better live but there’s more than enough going on here to keep you rapt.
Released on 27 May