One of the wonderful bonuses, for me, of doing the review thing is you can so often find music that throws something different into a particular musical style. It is probably due to this fact that most of us reviewers do what we do, it is also good to see music developing and evolving. This young and energetic “power jazz” trio are from Trondheim in Norway have a love and appreciation of modern jazz improv and ’70s jazz/prog rock. This is the follow-up to their debut album Bedmonster released in 2017.
Now I mentioned that throwing something different into the mix is a good thing and these chaps do just that. The trio consists of vibraphone, baritone guitar and drums, an unusual combination to be sure, but one that works so well. One of the most interesting things here is the use of the vibraphone as lead instrument, at times alternating with the baritone guitar and, as you would expect, the drums provide the drive and focus throughout in the best possible way.
This release consists of six tracks, with the shortest at two-and-a-half minutes and the longest at nine-and-a-half. None of them overstay their welcome and all are well paced. The band have a love of using heavy riffs and improvisation, which are tied together with some great melodies. A label which has apparently been applied to this band’s music of late is the aforementioned “Power Jazz”, and that’s a reasonable description if you need one.
Daydream kicks off the album in more ways than one, a powerful and almost angry start which after a minute-and-a-half gives way to a smooth jazz-like shuffle with all the instruments dancing around each other. It settles into a nice groove for its five minute-plus duration. A great start that clearly demonstrates that I Like to Sleep have done well to capture the feeling of improvisation and a live feel for this and all the other tracks. They are able to get the listener to believe they are playing live, so much so that it invokes images of a dark and atmospheric late-night jazz club. Bedrock is a prime example of this, a great improv feel throughout leaving you almost open-mouthed at their skills. Ideas jump and bounce all over the place, but it is clear that there is some careful arrangement going on here. Broken Record has some wonderful runs from the vibraphone, getting into a fast-paced rhythm before things get a bit crazy, almost feeling like its all going to fall apart at any moment, before pulling things back on track.
The longest track wraps up the album. Don’t Wake the Sleeping Beauty is again well-paced, an interesting and brooding piece which develops gradually over its running time, atmospheric sounds creating space for the instruments to shine in what they do. This builds towards a full-on crescendo of an ending. The other two remaining tracks maintain the high quality to match the ones I have picked out.
Overall, this is an album full of quality songs and arrangements from a band not afraid to mix things up, with lots of ideas and interesting instrument choices making this a very fine listen indeed. It is clear to see from hearing this why these guys are so popular on the live circuit. Long may their adventures in sound continue to fascinate; I know I have thoroughly enjoyed discovering them.
01. Daydream (5:50)
02. Bedrock (6:05)
03. Cuckoo (8:13)
04. Quarantillity (2:28)
05. Broken Record (4:47)
06. Don’t Wake the Sleeping Beauty (9:28)
Total Time – 36:44
Amund Storløkken – Vibraphone, Compositions
Nicolas Leirtrø – Baritone Guitar, Compositions
Øyvind Leite – Drums
Record Label: Rune Grammofon
Country of Origin: Norway
Date of Release: 3rd June 2022