I am a new convert to The Good the Bad and the Zugly. A great friend of mine insisted I stuck some on about 6 weeks back and I liked what I heard. These Norwegian punks recently received a Spelleman (Norwegian Grammy) but don’t expect any pompous preening luvvies. Algorithm and Blues is 13 tracks of snotty punk and roll with a hefty dose of humour and heavy gassed up riffs. Think Hellacopters, Supersuckers, Happy Revolvers, Zeke and (sorry GBZ) Turbonegro.
Opening with the “Thunderstruck” type intro to “Welcome to the Great Indoors” the swagger of the band is evident. There is plenty of rhythm and blues mixed in here and mixing up inspiration is certainly part of this bands DNA. The opener is fast paced dust covered rocker – foot on the monitor, greasy hair flailing, pig squealing bastard of a track. The Angus style guitar licks permeate throughout. “Fake Noose” that follows is a screaming wild stomper whilst “Staying With the Trouble” brings more melody in ala Pennywise or early Offspring with a crooning chorus!”? Just as I settled it “Kings of Inconvenience” drops a minute of supercharged crossover on my ears. Like DRI or Cryptic Slaughter in oil covered denim cutoffs this is a sweat drenched rager.
What to do if you are diagnosed with sleep apnoea? Accept the Darth Vader pap machine and hide the fact from your pals? Or if you are one of the Zugly’s –write a song entitled The Man Behind the Oxygen Mask. Ha, never has a possibly fatal medical condition been so fucking punk and funny. “Get behind your mask or fucking die!” As I said humour permeated this release but always with a sardonic swipe at either society or the bands health as just mentioned. “The Kids are Alt-Right” starts with the joy of watching climate strikes led by Greta Thunberg before our narrator/vocalist realises that “9 out of 10 youths support white supremacy”. An exaggeration perhaps but looking at the vilification of Ms Thunberg on social media and often by young people and the rise of far right groups amongst the young people of Europe and North America this is a poignant punky piece. Following up with “Fuck The Police” GBZ nail their colours to the mast with a razor sharp angry rant just as they do with “Corporate Rock”. “Your rock and roll band looks more like a PR firm at a spa!”.
“What have you done for me lately” I thought it was going to be a cover. Rather it is trad rock build up that threw me off the sent before erupting into a manic skate punk blast that would have torn my hair off if I had any. GBZ are certainly angry with bands just in it for the pay check and the fame. Thank fuck!
An ominous acoustic interlude (Kisteglad) serves as an intro for closer “Requiem” which is a fast yet sombre shot of venomous punk. The use of female vocals on the chorus adds a poignant and eerie level to the track – a little like the nursery rhyme in A Nightmare On Elm Street.
With Algorithm and Blues, The Good The Bad and The Zugly have offered a sideways look at life in the snoring twenties , cocked a snook at it and pointed out a different , dirtier path . It’s one I want to take.
(8.5/10 Matt Mason)