Published Aug 05, 2008Let's face it, if Norway has a reputation in music it's for their burning black metal scene, which has more stories attached to it than just about any place. Recent times has seen the rise of electronic music, thanks to Smalltown Supersound and the Sunkissed club night, but there really is a lot more to the country than just corpse paint and cosmic disco.
This week I'll be in Oslo, Norway for the tenth annual Oya Festival, covering the event on my blog, which you can find at Oya.Exclaim.ca. In addition, I've decided to feature up-and-coming Norwegian artists playing the festival in this here column that show there's more going on than most people think.
Oslo's Pirate Love are self-classified as "black punk," and I won't argue that. Decked out in vintage gothic garb and sporting jet-black coiffure, this sextet are every bit the curiosity as the Horrors - only without the overwhelming pomposity.
Their debut album, Black Vodoun Space Blues shows they've also got more range in their ominous blood. They're also more unhinged, channeling the Birthday Party's rampant nihilism on a cut like the venomous "Sick of You," which rolls along to a sinister surf riff and a spine-chilling funeral pyre organ.
On the flipside is the rollicking glam stomper "Ain't Nothing To Do," a bubblegum pop song disguised in hard rockin' guitars and sequin vocals that suggest maybe some Sweet from time to time isn't a half bad idea.
Finally there's the fitting "Death Trip," an organ-heavy, creepy crawler that taps into their utmost goth side, using ethereal guitar textures that suggest Cocteau Twins on a diet of whiskey and acid.
No word on any release for Black Vodoun Space Blues outside of their native land, but you can buy it and sample it by visiting label Kong Tiki's webshop.
Pirate Love "Sick of You" / "Ain't Nothing To Do" / "Death Trip"