Sondre Lerche and the Faces Down Phantom Punch

He’s young, he’s Norwegian and, man, does he like to bounce around genres. On his debut, he brought the slightly rock pop, then on Two-Way Monologue he brought a more classic pop and on the Duper Sessions he brought the crooning and smarmy style of pop. Hmmm, what’s the connection? Either way, the man likes to shake people around with his limitless well of catchy melodies. Some have worked, some haven’t, but with this album Lerche is fighting back with a new rock attitude. From the stubble and messy hair it’s apparent he isn’t taking any shit, and while the songs seem to have more attitude, he can’t hide that love of melody. Opener "Airport Taxi Reception” gets going with staccato drums and a nervy feel but it’s the short and urgent "Face the Blood” that best shows Lerche’s successful transformation; the guitar squalls and rough delivery mean he’s here to have a good time. However, an old nugget of radio-catchiness shows up on "John, Let Me Go,” which is definitely a highlight. Using his formidable voice to lead a soaring chorus over some standard rock guitars, it’s delectable and fun stuff. There isn’t much to think about but Lerche’s never been one for brain food. Just revel. (EMI)