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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 72 - 08/22/02

The Loch Ness Mouse
Key West
Perfect Pop (Norway) / Happy Happy Birthday To Me (USA)

The song on the radio tells me the summer is over but I just can't believe that, as the temperature is nearly 30°C outside. Then our beloved redacteur gives me this slice of digital evidence just to confirm that summer is still with us.

Loch Ness Mouse is one of the key representatives of Norwegian summer pop and Key West, only their second album during their nearly 10 years' lifespan, confirms that position. A perfect band for the Perfect Pop label then? Oh yeah.

I was a bit disappointed after the first spins of this CD though. Are they trying to become the new Choo Choo Train (pre-Velvet Crush) - lightweight pop songs without much substance? The high-pitched voices of key members (and brothers) Ole Johan and Jørn O. Åleskjær might also lead you to believe that at first (I was!) - but actually, no! A few more rounds on my deck and most of the songs reveal a more mature band; time signature changes, small musical digressions, perfect vocal harmonies (with the help of people from the Elephant 6 stable) and the addition of the odd trumpet (partly provided by Scott Spillane of The Gerbils), a cello here and a mandolin there. These are some of the elements that together with advanced melodic structures (no, it's not prog!) lift them from being an OK band on Perfect Pop to be among the labels very best.

Still I must admit that I had expected the album to be a bit punchier as Loch Ness Mouse really can 'rock' when playing live, but it may be that I haven't quite gotten used to their new sound just yet. Standout track (as of now): "Jules Verne", but I suspect this will be an album that will continue to grow in the future.

Happy Happy Birthday will release the album in the US and Little Teddy in Germany will put it out on vinyl.

Copyright © 2002 Werner Gillid e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Loch Ness Mouse articles/reviews: 11-22", An interview with..., Bamboo (Love Is Not Cool), Flair For Darjeeling, Flair for Dardjeeling - Deluxe Edition, Friends And Fenders EP, New Graffiti, Overnite, The Mouse that roared!.

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