The mighty matriarchal Norway spruce, we’ll call her Inger, shimmering in the never ending twilight of the endless mid-summer day, looks on in regal fashion over the fjord it has guarded for many centuries, along with its many hundred strong sentinel family. They make for a fitting guard of honour for the majestic goddess wielding her mighty but friendly axe, as no bark was damaged by this steely cutting edge. Her long locks flowing, she rides the churning, tumultuous groove of Leo Flash’ Return to the Underworld over to the far side of the glacial lake.
Keeping the inspired guitar wrangling of Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen, for it is she, on a straight and true course are her highly drilled personal musical bodyguards Ellen Brekken and Ivar Loe Bjørnstad, their rock steady rhythms upping the ante on the fast’n’furious blast of muscular rock’n’stroll that is All Flights Cancelled, not so much a jogging beat, than a relentless charge towards a new horizon. There has been much gloom in the world, with many of us either reduced to a fragile mental state, or wound up taught and ready snap these last twelve and more months, but this rollicking adventure in high spirits can only leave the listener transported into a mysterious world that puts aside the narrow confines of lockdown living for a lesson in adventurous music making. It belies the gloomy album title, sounding more like a hopeful beginning than a cynical end.
Returning to the trusty Trio, after a sidestep into a different but nevertheless thrilling aural vista on last year’s nominally solo outing Ekhidna, Hedvig Mollestad and her intuitive rhythmic phalanx commune with the Gods, riding wave after wave of inspired derring-do, sometimes thunderously energetic, sometimes almost wistful, as on the title track’s shaken but not stirred dreamscore.
Inger looks on impassive, as the woven timings and melodies of Hedvig’s rock-jazz-improv canter around at the place where roots are put down. This thing is anchored, but, it also knows how to swing, with an insouciance and loose skill that transmits the love of just being, just making the joyful noise. Chugga-chugga goes the Magic Moshroom, a frolic for our times.
The Art of Being Jon Balkovitch is an off the hip kinda thing, shimmying with the kool kidz. It has more than a singular spring in its step. Leaving this all behind, climbing to Inger’s lofty summit, lifted by the warm air currents from Four Candles, and up and beyond into the indeterminate haze, the music rises above this land of myth and legend, finding the clean air to breathe, and it is good, very good.
01. Leo Flash’ Return To The Underworld (7:30)
02. All Flights Cancelled (5:27)
03. Ding Dong. You’re Dead. (7:08)
04. Gimbal (5:32)
05. Magic Moshroom (5:32)
06. The Art Of Being Jon Balkovitch (4:42)
07. Four Candles (5:32)
Total Time – 41:24
Hedvig Mollestad – Guitar, Effects
Ellen Brekken – Bass
Ivar Loe Bjørnstad – Drums
Record Label: Rune Grammofon
Country of Origin: Norway
Date of Release: 2021
Hedvig Mollestad Trio – Facebook