And now for something completely different. Nope not Monty Python metal but certainly something a bit off the wall here from Denmark as we get our jazz shoes on and mix things up This is the group’s third album and follows on from last ‘Secretly We Are Gay’ which should give you a bit of a clue that this lot are a bit on the whacky side.
Jangling guitar work sets us up on opener Maharaja and instruments pile up with a beefy sound as they really begin to swing into action. It’s the accompanying tenor sax that really begins to drive away and enhance the already burgeoning sound and if it’s an instrument you have an aversion to this is certainly a disc to avoid at all costs. A thick coruscating and head melting sound fluidly wraps itself around you and the structure here is great as it all flows away in a deranged but not obtuse fashion, with everything gelling neatly together. This transcends genre convention completely merging metallic licks with freeform jazz motifs in a sense that the only other band you could really immediately draw comparisons to in our particular cosmos are Shining Norway and naturally the work of John Zorn who always gets a look in on such things. Sounding like an orchestra tuning up we move into ‘Arktis’ and you can now hear other instruments in the mix such as a clarinet warbling away. It’s pretty unstructured and you wonder where it’s all going before the ballast of the song proper weighs in and gives you a good shaking with horns parping and clamouring and some echoing effects from string plucking in the background. It’s a right old cacophony that’s for sure but the noise is also quite endearing in a fragmentary fashion.
Alt sounds as though someone is practicing blowing a horn in school assembly but not quite getting there, I’m sure it’s meant to sound like that and there is a maudlin melody tingeing it all with sadness but fails to go anywhere and lasts too long for comfort. John gets a song named after him, unfortunately it’s ‘Fuck John’ what he has done exactly is uncertain but musically once the sax deliriously wails away and the rhythm picks up its guessed as being all part of the abstract nature of the beast. I should of course mention that this is all instrumental and the reason that I have not done so this far into the review is due to the fact that there is so much to focus on within the music and that each individual instrument has a clear voice of its own that this is a somewhat unimportant factor. ‘Satan’ is another horn and woodwind blowing exercise and there is definitely a feel of filler to this album especially noticeable as it’s only 28 minutes long in the first place. Last track Fede Piger also takes an age to get into gear but thankfully does go for a final crescendo hitting flurry of the senses bringing the album to a close and making you wonder just what the hell you had heard.
Svin proved interesting and a break from normal listening but I found them a bit too convoluted and self-indulgent to totally enjoy them. There’s definitely a spark here and no doubt an audience for them, I just don’t think it’s me to be totally honest.
(6/10 Pete Woods)