Sep25 | 2012
categories: Music Reviews, Stuff We Love | tags: , , , ,

What We’re Hearing: Ungdomskulen’s “Secrecy”

“Modern Drummer”, off 2007′s Cry Baby, was Norway’s Ungdomskulen to a T: Hard hitting weirdo rock, delivered without a lick of self-seriousness, and with musical chops to take to to the bank.  On their fourth (if you count 2011′s 10-songs-in-10-minutes micro-LP Gimme Ten) long-player, Secrecy, the edges are smoother, but the songwriting is more lean.

Mostly absent  are the over-long prog-jams of their debut and its follow-up,  2009′s excellent-if-indulgent Bisexual. In their place are sparse, economical New Wave pop-leaning gems.

Album opener “Askefast” sounds like XTC & Yes collaborating on a long-lost James Bond theme song (instead of just holding up the end of my record collection, like they usually do.)  Guitarist/vocalist Kristian Stockhaus continues to channel XTC’s Andy Partridge on “Young Hearts” and “Marilyn”, but the prog-rock feel is never far away, especially on album closer “Justify My Grudge”, which, like most of the album, interweaves earwormy melodies with air-guitar-worthy riffs.

If you’re looking for a gateway to the world of Norwegian prog-pop (and, let’s be honest, who isn’t?) Ungdomskulen’s  Secrecy is your huckleberry.  Pick it up from iTunes, or in person from your favorite record store. ^Mike

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