Perfect Pop Records

Perfect Pop Records

POP35 – Luna Kafé

Various Artists
Doggie Pound
Perfect Pop

Now let’s briefly summarize what we’ve been writing in the past here at the Luna K. pages concerning Norwegian underground pop music. Adding quite a few new names, some that we’ll probably return to in future menus. Pop-garage label Perfect Pop has joined forces with JIPPI Publishing. Together they’ve released a brand new CD and cartoon collection. The CD contains 19 songs by 19 different groups and artists, and 10 of the songs have been illustrated by young aspiring cartoon artists in the accompanying booklet. I will mainly indulge in the music here, but need to state that the comics are written in English and give a nice introduction to the Norwegian underground cartoon movement of today.

The songs are mainly within the power-pop and garage-rock framework including lots of fuzz guitars, but with a few pure pop gems and surprises thrown in for good measure. Most of the songs sparkle with enthusiasm, performed by young and hungry bands. Though all songs are studio recordings, most have kept a refreshing live spirit. There are lots of energetic favourites, among those are the fuzzy Postman by P.I.K.E. (off their 1997 debut album Stuntpoph), the laid- back rocker Soulful Tunes by The Chairs (previously unreleased), the compressed hairy Will I Ever by old LK faves Dipsomaniacs (from the album Reverb No Hollowness), the happily fuzzy My Favourite Fool by Ethnobabes (previously unreleased), the organ-laden Friend by The Jessica Fletchers (off their debut album I Can Shoot You From Here) and the heavy lovingly Happy by Stuntbike previously unreleased). Astroburger are the veterans among this lot and Calling The Sun is one of the most charming power-pop tracks off their latest offering Inferno In Fano. Old time heroes The Tables have dissected Skeleton And The Roundabout (this version is previously unreleased) by Jeff Lynne from his early days with The Idle Race 30 years ago. It’s even funnier than the original, with organ, mellotron, and a hilarious chorus in Norwegian. Arne Hansen & The Guitarspellers’ Fluffy (previously unreleased) sounds like a home-made mix of a soundtrack by Nino Rota for some unknown Italian film and the theme from a children’s television series with hints of Christmas (check Arne’s Yule-album Reindeer Can Fly!).

The greatest surprise of them all is Cosavannah by Beatroute (off their 7 inch debut), a hip jazzy bossanova with vibes, female vocals and all. I’d probably find an entire album of this music boring, but here it’s really cool and refreshing. Green Club Riviera’s My Life As A Pilot Of The Future (from their debut album Boring Days Are Over Now) is very much rock’n’roll with a dynamic bass up front, but the vocals nevertheless make it something up the same street as Beatroute. Strange! Stone-O-Saurus seems to be a side-project by guitarist Eystein Hopland of Sister Rain. His Sleep Tight (previously unreleased) is dreamy and fascinating; float downstream, indeed. Robert Birdeye’s Time Machine (previously unreleased) by the very same Robert Birdeye, the Sister Rain and The Tables drummer, is certainly the most far out contribution. A crude home-made acid rock piece, he sounds as a Norwegian half brother of Roky Erickson, perhaps.

Finally, when I tell you Doggie Pound includes previously unreleased songs by The Loch Ness Mouse, The Time Lodgers and even 4-5 more up and coming names, I can only conclude with an unreserved recommendation. If you’re interested in independent garage-pop, you need to look no further for the most interesting compilation from Norway this year. For the price of an ordinary CD you’ll get both the CD and comic booklet. A good bargain!

Copyright © 1999 JP

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