Smells Funny rune GraMMOFOn

Prog - - The Musical Box - DW

Nor­way’s guitar hero­ine de­liv­ers an­other mu­si­cal thun­der­bolt.

For a coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion smaller than Lon­don, Nor­way seems to pro­duce an al­most alarm­ingly high num­ber of amaz­ing bands. On their sixth al­bum, the Hedvig Mollestad Trio con­tinue to ex­plore the fer­tile ground where jazz meets rock, then they get drunk to­gether and jam un­til the neigh­bours call the po­lice about the noise. The main riff of Beastie, Beastie seems in­spired by the Beastie Boys’ Sab­o­tage, and fea­tures an out­stand­ing guitar solo from band­leader Mollestad. Be­witched, Dwarfed And De­feath­ered is pure sonic malev­o­lence, while in First Thing To Pop Is The Eye, Mollestad’s guitar breaks up into feed­back, al­low­ing bassist Ellen Brekken to launch an ad­ven­tur­ous solo as Ivar Loe Bjørn­stad fear­lessly keeps pace on the drums. There’s a mo­ment of rel­a­tive calm in Jurasek, but Lu­cid­ness is a free­wheel­ing, volatile jazz-rock ex­plo­ration akin to the Ma­hav­ishnu Orches­tra or Tony Wil­liams’ Life­time at their most vol­canic. Smells Funny pro­vides the an­tithe­sis of the sani­tised, el­e­va­tor fu­sion of the 80s and 90s. This is not an al­bum to play qui­etly in the back­ground, but one to blast at a level some­where be­tween ‘ob­nox­ious’ and ‘likely to cause brain dam­age’.

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