Norway - Full Moon 39 - 12/22/99
Smalltown Supersound is definitely "Label of the Year" here in the old country. This
year they've been releasing debut albums from Stuntbike, Monopot, and now experimental
noise-weirdos Epikurs Euforie presenting their first full-length, Heart Sounds.
Expect no quietly pulsating heart beats.
Epikurs Euforie is a quartet (?), plus associated playmates. Ole Martin (drums, bass, Moog),
Thomas (guitar, vocals, tape manipulation), Tor (noise), and Tage (14-string guitar)
make the awesome-foursome, spinning off to chaotic landscapes and mystic woods. They
released a fascinating 10",
Side A Side B, last year.
Swedish mag Broken Face has described their music as "if Capt. Beefheart was invited to
play together with Tortoise and Pere Ubu, it would have sounded like Epikurs Euforie."
Other names dropped along their path are US Maple, The Residents, Dead C, Trumans Water,
Sun City Girls, and Pavement (really?).
Heart Sounds includes three of the songs from the debut 10", Action Now,
Kelli Grine, and the Ubu-esque It's Hard, plus a line of peculiar song
titles such as Ungroove The Music, Fight In The Arm, Ni Ni In Love,
and Hut Fell Hard. The album starts with someone saying: "these are recordings of
the principle of normal heart sounds." Then everything being close to normal ends, when
they start their wild and apocalyptic ride with 1960's And Some Bad (with a
slight reminiscence to the Fall, with galloping rhythms and manic vocals). It's a journey
through a jungle of anarcho-rawk, wild music in every possible direction. Which may be
the problem, at least for my head. I sort of get off the track when they tumble around,
back and forth, left and right, doing sudden U-turns, while speeding with the brakes on.
The music is sort of out of focus all the way, in its experimentality and spontaneousness.
However, it's hard not to be fascinated by such ideas of performing non-conform
"un-melodic" rock. Spectacular, yes, but many of the songs are just crazy ideas, not
songs as we know them. Confusing, but yet somehow sense-making without a regular "the end." And
their name? Well, check your Greek dictionary.
Epikurs Euforie is really something on the side, but why not have a peek inside their
universe. If not only to be shaken and stirred. I can feel the heart beating as ... hell.
Copyright © 1999 Håvard Oppøyen