Already have an account? Sign in. On their fourth if you count 's songs-inminutes micro-LP Gimme Ten long-player, Secrecy, the edges are smoother, but the songwriting is more lean. Mostly absent are Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby over-long prog-jams of their debut and its follow-up, 's excellent-if-indulgent Bisexual.
In their place are sparse, economical New Wave pop-leaning gems. Pick it up from iTunes, or in person from your favorite record store. For something that seemed like a Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby venture from the start, there were a very few moments that made it seem like prog rock actually was actually meant for one minute snippets. Given more time to unpack those songs on their new disc, Secrecy, and the jumpy, amped-up trio wound up with longer tangled, knotted songs.
The downfall of Secrecy lies in the fact that these overfilled suitcases of music are too often hard to tell apart from each other. The same oleo of motorik rhythms and slick guitars smacks of paint-by-numbers insouciance when stuttered like this. But when Ungdomskulen decide to add layers and develop movements within a track, they got lost in their own ideas. Though the group consists of three dudes, this black and white video is all about the ladies, simply goofing off and being girly in a hair salon, as they apply mascara, blow-dry their hair simultaneously, do the robot, pop champagne and shout, and play spin the bottle and make out.
There are blondes, brunettes, and some sideboob action—all to the tune of Ungdomskulen's epic and lo-fi psychedelic rock anthem. It's a track with some serious 'tude, yet it's totally easy on the ears.
Hit play. Or smash it, kick it, what have you Ungdomskulen certainly would. Pitchfork's Stephen M. Deusner summarized Cry-Baby, the album Norway's Ungdomskulen released inby pointing out that it crammed Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby "eight long songs with as many digressions, tangents, and asides as possible. But this is indulgence of a different kind.
Here the band has simply stripped everything down and produced an album of 10 songs that are each around one minute long. The entire record breezes past in less time than it takes the average krautrock jam to hit its stride. The band members are doubtless prepared for people to wave this album away as a gimmick without actually hearing it, but to do so wouldn't entirely be fair.
There's definitely an air of novelty about it, but there's still as much care and attention put into these songs as there is in their other material. Those "digressions, tangents, and asides" are all still intact-- they've just been vacuum-packed into an impossibly tiny space. That level of detail maintained by Ungdomskulen recalls other artists who have worked in a vaguely similar manner, such as the earliest material by Glasgow's the Yummy Fur or Manchester post-punkers bIG fLAME.
This album also borrows heavily from the same stylistic mien as the latter. Much of it contains elements of the syrupy-funk undertow that bands like Orange Juice and A Certain Ratio Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby dabbling in during the s. There's a spikiness to the guitar sound and a playfulness to the lyrics that also recall that era. Some of these could be decent off-kilter pop songs if they were allowed Q.
Yovillaha - Factor 42 / Sin Drome - Sin Factor spread their wings a little-- "It's Official" and "Number One" cover the kind of ground that Franz Ferdinand and Queens of the Stone Age were respectively delving into with some success in the past decade. But therein lies a big part of the problem with Gimme Ten. Too many of these sounds and directions have been thoroughly regurgitated and explored in recent years. Ungdomskulen are certainly well drilled at taking those ideas and condensing them down into bite-sized chunks; it's just a shame they couldn't have chosen some less picked-over territory in which to perform Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby experiment.
There are flashes of inspiration, but the nature of Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby record makes Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby a frustrating listen at times. Ungdomskulen are more than capable of packing such short songs with plenty of belief, but too often it feels like they're straining under the weight of it all. With so little room to function, the rush to get to where they're going causes any genuine flashes of insight to be discarded with indecent haste.
Despite such reservations, it's to their credit that Ungdomskulen have taken to this task with considerable zeal. There are 10 videos, one to go with each song, and the audio files are available for free download from the band's website. They even prove the worth of the one-minute format a couple of times.
As an exercise put out into the world for free, albeit with a decent amount of love and perspiration, Gimme Ten provides fleeting БандЭрос - Коламбия Пикчерз Не Представляет of enjoyment. But instead of really inhabiting its restraints and taking them somewhere revelatory, much of this album serves to highlight why it's not a very good idea to deliberately impose shackles on musical notions that are on the cusp of heading somewhere stimulating.
If they're looking for a quickie follow-up project, it might be worth filtering these songs through the same kind of ambition they demonstrated on Cry-Baby, just to see whether all this abstraction can congeal into something more substantial. Instead, with a friendly aggression that recalls the Rapture without the dance-punk baggage or Klaxons, the band run headlong into their songs, playing loud and fast as they lock into one solid jam after another.
Excepting Les Savy Fav, nobody over here's Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby arty post-punk so nearly big and black. What to do with the lyrics' Xiu Xiu bent and sexual matter-of-factitude, that's a question all right. The Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby though, how fat and gritty they sound, and the riffs, how many and catchy and evenly distributed that bassline kills mepull no punches-- they only pull punches.
It looks shit on a T-shirt - get rid of it guys. But keep everything else. Keep the ethos that quiet bits are for pussies. Keep the cacophony of fuzzed-up guitars, rutting each other Trans-fuse - Alcove - Universal Implication obscure time sgnatures.
And sound brilliant. Norway's musical exports tend to fall into one of the three identifiable camps - avant jazz, electronica both poppy and experimental or black metal. Now Ungdomskulen have arrived to smudge the stereotypes. Their debut comes after the release of three import-only, seven-inch singles and is a thrilling, precision-tooled blend of math rock, prog jazz, art punk and post hardcore designed to blast fans of Battles, Fugazi, At The Drive-In and Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby into seventh heaven.
Despite their length and complexity, these eight tracks are terrifyingly taut and demonstrate turn-on-a-dime control, but surely Ungdomskulen's greatest trick is to have given each of them a surprisingly funky heart.
Sharon O'Connel - Uncut. It might be approximated in English as Junyer Hi Skool-- an adolescent scrawl across a bathroom wall. Sure enough, the songs Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby Ungdomskulen's debut album, Cry-Baby, detail such teenage concerns as masturbation, public erections, hard rock, and mythical creatures sketched With A Little Help From My Friends - The Beatles - Sgt.
Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band notebooks, but Ungdomskulen David Civera - Dile Que La Quiero neither brats like the Black Lips nor pretend-goths like Fall Out Boy. Instead, the trio are both the freaks and the geeks, deviants deciding their fates with a ten-sided die before cramming for that trig exam.
Cry-Baby is a busy album, cramming eight long songs with as many digressions, tangents, and asides as possible, transitions be damned. It can be a little jarring and occasionally repetitive, both of which are forgivable for the band's misfit relentlessness on "Modern Drummer" and stand-out "Spartacus", with its shouted chorus and spiraling trajectory. Occasionally, they jam aimlessly, as on "Ungdomskulen", but most of these songs-- even "Glory Hole" with four-minute clockwork cowbell breakdown-- are purposefully and thoughtfully constructed.
Up close, opener "Ordinary Son" is a frantic dancepunk track similar to those by Klaxons or early Liars, with herky-jerky guitar riffs and a bouncily melodic bassline. Take a few steps back, though, and the entire ambitious arrangement becomes visible, reminiscent of Built to Spill's guitar epics. The song reaches a fevered climax aroundthen starts to wind down. But that's a feint: Ungdomskulen re-attack with short exclamatory riffs, then regroup for a lengthy mid-song groove as Solheim tests out his cowbells and Stockhaus Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby bassist Frode Kvinge Flatland, hidden behind a cascade of dark hair, swordfight with their guitars.
Shamelessly, they do the same fake-out ending later in the song, and on almost every song thereafter. It works every time. And yet, for all their wankery, Ungdomskulen never departs from its power-trio line-up, meaning there are very few sounds on Cry-Baby that don't emanate Untitled - Various - Strassenmusik In Köln from drums, guitar, bass, and vox.
Cry-Baby is just strings and skins, and by necessity, it's democratic, emphasizing each element equally while covering a lot of ground, from the pop melodies of "Feels Like Home" and "My Beautiful Blue Eyes" to the noisy crunch of, well, "Feels Like Home" Spartacus - Ungdomskulen - Cry-Baby "My Beautiful Blue Eyes".
These songs are all motion, mixing indie-rock lightning with heavy-metal thunder and revealing a belief in rock's spiritual powers: "I feel that your fills are real," Stockhaus tells a modern drummer on "Modern Drummer". But Ungdomskulen manage to rock sans irony, finding a certain freedom in adolescent arrest. Stephen M. Deusner - Pitchfork. Ungdomskulen means 'youth school' and is the equivalent of junior high school in Norway.
If they were Canadian they'd no doubt be called 'Degrassi' and each of their songs would force home a hard hitting 'issue' punctuated by jocular humour. And rock we do. Ungomskulen are the loudest band I've heard in ages, very heavy yet with an unlikely disco precision backing up their shared, yelped vocals. This is perhaps best exemplified on current single 'Modern Drummer' - a huge percussion monster that demonstrates Stockhaus to be quite the frontman.
Despite the apparent language barrier, he has better banter than most visiting British bands and exudes a geek confidence that endears him to an audience happy to be confused by a song with five endings, the last of which sees the frontman waltzing with his guitar.
It's called 'Spartacus' and it's very good I must say. Otay - North Mississippi Allstars - Polaris who wishes the Rapture had listened to more Iron Maiden growing up and why wouldn't you?
The band Ungdomskulen has taken that word and transformed it into something much more, however. Thus, in the creation of their music, they are also destroying all sense of direction. The three-piece is proof that quantity has nothing over quality. These guys sound like a plane nose-diving from 30, feet in the air, while a train is derailing and a fault line is shifting. Yes, this is an image from a Calvin and Hobbes comic, but the sheer adrenaline and unpredictability of it all are the only way to describe Ungdomskulen.
Cry Baby is an album that jumps out at you from the first listen. All extended metaphors aside; this album and this band are not something to be taken lightly. They know their stuff. Then the drums kick in. Then your legs go and suddenly your whole body becomes a tool to shake every muscle and tendon in your body.
Then quiet. The momentum, the inertia stops. The song takes a different direction, almost unrecognizable but still franticly excited. This is where we see Ungdomskulen in its true shape. And what you soon realize is…there is no shape, no formula, and no order, just pure, unadulterated chaos.
Cry Baby is an album that starts and stops and starts again. They shift from jazz to post-rock to metal in a flash, leaving everything else around you stale.
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