“Dobbeltgjenger” – it’s fairly obvious what it means, don’t you think? I’ve had it confirmed by a Norwegian friend, too. Google Translate disagrees, but then the overused and frequently rather poor and often unintentionally comical online translator will turn any old nonsense into Shakespeare within two back and forth translations, so what do they know?
One thing is for sure, Dobbeltgjenger are yet another band from Bergen in Norway on the marvellous Karisma Records label. Wander the streets of that town and everyone over 8 years old is walking around playing a guitar, or sitting behind a piano in a subtly lit conservatoire window looking arty, or hunkering down with furrowed brow in a public park, pen and paper in hand searching the far horizons for lyrical inspiration, it seems. Failing that they might be found hitting a lamppost with drumsticks, as even Bergen bands need drummers. This latest bunch of loons look like they know how to enjoy themselves judging by their PR photos, and this is confirmed by the bootilicious MASSIVE pop prog bouncy skiffle rock they dole out on this, their groovy little second album.
The band describes their sound as “futuristic retrorock”, although if this is retro, I must have missed it first time around. Amongst others, they quote Queens Of The Stone Age and Nirvana as influences, the latter somewhat implausibly to these battered shell-likes.
We enter the spiked universe of Dobbeltgjenger with Tin Foil Hat, a suitably named little ditty that jerks arhythmically towards the nervous customer in a winning fashion, like a wine waiter with St Vitus’ Dance. Somehow it manages not to spill the drinks in your lap, and… we’re off! Instrumental flashiness is not a thing that grows like fungi as it does on some albums, but there are some neat breaks on this record, such as Knut-Martin Langeland Rasmussen’s guitar twists on Calling Tokyo, a charmed collection of notes that will not have you turning Japanese.
Dobbeltgjenger (it gets easier each time you type it) have a knack with infectious finger-poppin’ melodies, and Locking My Doors is one of those, where I might detect a whiff of David Byrne leaving the building. Swing schwings, and holding no punches answers the door jumping around to an infectious punky riff, wearing only a shocking pink merkin. This is highly imaginative music that does strange things to your synapses, such as making you think that the following title track is The Red Hot Chilli Peppers reimagined as a prog band.
Limbohead comes across as an assured piece of writing and arranging, although it does start to become a little flabby around the waist after the title track. However, the band have confidence in spades, borne out by the variety of styles attempted, that merge together to form a rather spiffing whole, and it is evident that the pop kids need to hear more from this fine bunch of Scandis.
The PR blurb states, “Dobbeltgjenger is here to bring back the groove and fun in the serious and eclectic rock style”, and they certainly manage that. My only criticism is that at only a shade over half an hour in length Limbohead leaves the listener begging for more, but that may well have been the intention.
01. Tin Foil Hat (2:13)
02. Calling Tokyo (3:08)
03. Like Monroe (2:44)
04. Locking My Doors (4:21)
05. Swing (2:03)
06. In Limbo (5:50)
07. Keep ’em coming (2:34)
08. Radio (3:08)
09. Mangrove (5:16)
Total Time – 31:19
Vegard Wikne – Vocal, Guitar
Sondre Veland – Drums
Jakob Sønnesyn – Bass
Knut-Martin Langeland Rasmussen – Guitar
Record Label: Karisma Records
Country of Origin: Norway
Date of Release: 2nd March 2018