Sweden - Full Moon 178 - 03/19/11
Det överexponerade gömstället
bob hunds Förlag
Old heroes (well, maybe not 'heroes'... 'friends' sounds better) die hard. bob hund returns with a new record; their 7th album (not counting live recordings/compilations, or their English intermission disguised as Bergman Rock) within the band's 20 year long lifespan. Their last album, Folkmusik för folk som inte kan bete sig som folk (2009) was a strong return after some years adrift. I mean, Bergman Rock was somewhat a mistake or failure, wasn't it? After all, the lyrical force (and the characteristic dialect) is the heart and soul of bob hund. Plus, of course, the absolute charm and utter charisma of singer Thomas Öberg. Not to forget his trademark energetic live performances (the band is great live -- always). Thomas is like Iggy Pop's baby brother - the good guy version. So, the new platter... what's it like, then?
Det överexponerade gömstället (The overexposed hiding place) takes bob hund both back and forth in time. Here's a song called "bob hund 2020" (an odd-ball opener), and then there's "Stumfilm" (Silent movie), taken from last year's 4 track EP Stumfilm. The band has always had a good grip on the post-punk spirit. They've been faithful to a punchy, bouncy, punky attitude, mixed with some more experimental, playful and whimsical ideas, twists and turns. I was curious to hear the albums single choice, the brilliantly entitled "Popsång (mot min vilja)"; (Pop song (against my will), but I was somewhat disappointed. Well, it's not a bad song in all its monotony. In many ways it's a typical bob hund song, sneaking up on you with an inner charm, and a slow-burning catchiness. I find "Stumfilm" more interesting,
which is a monotonous, or rather repetitive game as well. It seems bob hund has turned more melancholy than ever. The lyrics are of course top shelf and high quality poetic works. But, I find the music, the songs, to lack something. They're not as immediate or catchy, that's quite clear. They're simply not strong enough. Or, this is far too progressive post-punk-pop. I can hear fascinating/interesting stories, but the melodies go past me, I'm afraid. "Ja, ja, ja, nej" (Yes, yes, yes, no) is one of the better songs, and, yes, "Popsång..." is growing on me. This might be a matter for the album as well; it might take some time, and several (multiple) revolutions are probably needed, for it to ripe and mature. I'm willing to let it do so.
Untill then I'll rank this album behind Folkmusik.... And, maybe I'll consider another concert next time they're coming around to a scene nearby...
Copyright © 2011 Håvard Oppøyen