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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 81 - 05/16/03

Latvia b/w The Dark Side of Tjensvoll
Kari Recordings

Arthur! Arthur? No, not the musical but a rather lively quartet from the Norwegian west coast. Throwing quite a show with music roaming the territories of garage-pop/rock-psychedelia. Sounding very DIY-spirited; simple in style, without any make-up to cover their "pop-naivety". Arthur! are two pairs of brothers, and the pairs are cousins. Keep it in the family.

According to the press sheet they've existed for some 4 years, and this is their second release, following the Randaberg EP (2001, which was re-released last year - on cassette - by Quesadilla Records, CA, USA). Nils (vox, organ), Henrik (guitar), Jon (drums), and Per Ebbe (bass) claim to present blistering (60s inspired) garage-rock, but they're not as raw as I thought they'd be. They probably are live, but the 3 songs on this EP are more up the lo-fi indie-rock alley. With a great dose of charm I must add.

Opener and main song, the organ dominated yet guitar flavored, "Latvia" is rather complex, or schizoid, with lots of twists and changes in speed and force. Starting rather backbeat funky, before steaming on. And the lyrics implies they had a joyful trip 'We went to Latvia, we had some ice-cream! [...] We went to Latvia, and we went swimming!', ending with a crystal clear statement: 'We are going back next year!!'. After "Latvia" follows "Ricki Lake" (east meets west...), as the bonus track of this 7" single. A really nice pop song, and my favorite track off this EP. My second fave comes on the flip-side; an instrumental (with some 'whoa-a-a-a-aaah' choruses) called "Dark Side of Tjensvoll". I don't know where Tjensvoll is (I've heard of Randaberg; the place they took the name for their debut EP), but it seems to be a place of darkness; to pick inspiration for making cinematic music going wild. Neat.

Rock on!, Arthur! I'm charmed. Looking forward to see you live.

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