Norway - Full Moon 191 - 04/06/12
Crispin Glover Records / mons.no
Ryanbanden gave us a taster lifted off their full-length album with the single "Dobbel bunn". Here's the album, on double vinyl - and
double CD! - and it's as good as I hoped it should be. "Dobbel bunn" even gets better on the album. Øyvind Ryan has been sweating and working hard for years to
come up with this album, and with the earlier mentioned (see the single review) good helpers (meaning excellent players, plus co-writers; Sæther has co-written
three songs with Ryan, while one song is credited Holm-Ryan) making his band, well, this album is quite a jolly collection of solid catchy pop-rock. The sticker on the
front cover says: 'Woopee! 21 Golden Greats from Ryanbanden'. Believe me, this is not far from the truth.
Øyvind Ryan knows how to write catchy songs with catchy riffs, topped with honest, catchy, charming, AND funny lyrics. When I last moonth tried to describe
"Dobbel bunn", I wrote '...lazy, laidback, pop-hearted rock'. This could be used as a general description of the album, but it's also raw, tip-toe tense, bouncy and
aggressive. Or, dear I say passive-aggressive. What's true is that Ryanbanden is filled with charming songs, and one might cull names like Teenage Fanclub and Wilco
as references. Of course along with the classics (from Ryan's record collection); The Beatles and The Stones, the Kinks and Small Faces, Big Star and the Only Ones. Some
tracks even recall vintage, early 80s R.E.M. (f.i. the guitar riff intro to "Jævla ungjævla"), even good ol' Neil Young (both vocal and guitar parts of several
songs, f.i. "Gamle flamma varme dårlig").
Of course, I would've edited, shortened the album a tiny bit. 'Some darlings should've been killed', as the movie jargon goes. The result would've been sharper,
more focused, more golden, more ultimate. Putting Ryanbanden up there on the top-shelf of Norwegian recordings. However, the album is astonishing and indeed impressing
as it is. 21 songs. 1 hour, 20 minutes. And, it's quite easy to pick favourite tracks: "Dobbel bunn", "Inn i mengden", "Engangsidyll", "Line Lee", "Mandolin, ikke banjo",
the indeed personal "Mr Nelson", "Jævla ungjævla", "Pernille" (with lead vocals by Kristin Jensen, of ska-bands Hopalong Knut and Samvirkelaget), the naked
and stripped "Bra det finnes flatskjerm", "Luremus", "Liker ikke tonen din", "Endelig". Yes, the list is long.
Congratulations, Øyvind! You've made a great album!
Copyright © 2012 Håvard Oppøyen