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coverpic flag Sweden - Full Moon 90 - 02/06/04

Bergman Rock
Bergman Rock
Silence Records / Tuba (distribution in Norway)

I don't know for how long this record has been announced, but it finally arrived. Bergman Rock a.k.a. bob hund. bob hund: for the first time in English! How can it possibly be...credible? And, the name of the band? I'm not sure which of two famous Swedes from the world of movies it's an ode to: director Ingmar or actress Ingrid? I'd say Ingmar, and many of his film's English titles could in fact have been song titles by Bergman Rock. Or what do you say...: "Wild Strawberries", "Through a Glass Darkly", "Music Is My Future", "The Silence", "In the Presence of a Clown", "Smiles of a Summer Night", "Brink of Life", "Man with an Umbrella", "Sunset of a Clown", "To Joy".

After the first listen to Bergman Rock I was a bit skeptical. Something was wrong, something was missing: the trademark, dead charming Swedish dialect wasn't present. In stead...English words, sung sort of in a Nordic way (well, it isn't that bad). After some more spins the album and its songs slowly find their place. It's weird but it's almost like some of the songs are sort old acquaintances, like they're recycled bob hund songs. Re-arranged, translated, re-dressed. Take f.i. "Jim" (splendid guitar work, b.t.w.) or "Darkness For Beginners". In fact most of the songs remind me of 'good old' bob hund, which shouldn't come as a surprise - the two bands are one. The only difference is the linguistic clothing. As well as the band names of course.

As usual (when it comes to bob hund) the album opens with an odd song called "Wake-up Call", which is close to being filed as instrumental (it "reappears" later on the album, funnily entitled "Wake-up Call (snooze)"...). Then "No Position" introduces the bouncy party mood which bob hund is strongly admired for. At times (earlier on as well) singer Thomas sounds like Pere Ubu mainman David Thomas' skinny, little nephew, and when it comes to the song "Home Is Where The Herd Is" this clearly must be an ode to the magic Ubu. "I'm A Crab" (with lines like "I'm a crab, running sideways...") is a slamdance feast of a rock (Bergman Rocks!) song, but the true outstanding track is "My Best Fiend" - a masterpiece, and one of the best bob hund (pardon me, Bergman Rock) songs ever!! The lazy, somewhat sundazed (that's the feeling I get) "Skin & Bones", with its sweet and tender choir (backing vox, actually) is another enjoying moment. I don't know what it is but it makes me very happy! "Help The Band" is another cheerful piece of music (as well as lyrics). And when everything is summed up by the sexy (chilly, but sexy) and mystic (therefore attractive, then sexy...) "Nordic Dep" I can only salute Bergman Rock for giving us a rock solid, mmm...debut. Not one of those classics to be, but an album as charming as your favorite Swedes can provide.

And (as always) they'll probably kick-ass/kiss-ass live!

Copyright © 2004 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Bergman Rock article/review: Bonjour Baberiba pt II.

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