Hed­vig Mollestad Trio

★★★★ Smells Funny

Mojo (UK) - - Filter Albums - Kieron Tyler

RUNE GRAMMOFON. CD/DL/LP

Nor­way’s metal/free jazz cross­over mon­sters em­brace a new – rel­a­tive – sub­tlety.

Smells Funny opens with Beastie, Beastie. A cir­cu­lar, omi­nous bass riff is un­der­pinned by un­re­lent­ing drums. Spi­ralling, sus­tain-heavy gui­tar spik­ily re­cast­ing Third Stone From The Sun Hen­drix tops it off. Six tracks on, with the in­nate chem­istry of Hed­vig Mollestad Thomassen (gui­tar), Ellen Brekken (acous­tic and elec­tric bass) and Ivar Loe Bjørn­stad’s (drums) es­tab­lished, al­bum closer Lu­cid­ness uses these el­e­ments to in­stantly dive into seven-plus min­utes of a jud­der­ing, free-form vor­tex. On their pre­vi­ous four stu­dio al­bums, Nor­way’s Hed­vig Mollestad Trio have seam­lessly and uniquely fused heavy rock riff­ing, free jazz reach­ing out, and full-on drive. Smells Funny, the fol­low-up to the 2016 live set Evil In Oslo, pushes for­ward. In­stead of build­ing riff upon riff, Mollestad Thomassen’s adop­tion of free-flow­ing solo­ing brings a sound less claus­tro­pho­bic than be­fore. Ex­traor­di­nar­ily, in so do­ing, no power is lost. Here­with, the ham­mer of the gods.

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