HEDVIG MOLLESTAD TRIO
Smells Funny rune GraMMOFOn
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’.