Ungdomskulen Cry-Baby

When your average rock band are typically wrapping up a tune, Ungdomskulen are just getting to the bridge and have already covered twice the territory. Invariably, the band utilise the approach of building up to a red-herring climax before neatly tying off the new growth with a mutated version of the original riff. I’d cry foul over such a habit if it wasn’t so damn effective and varied enough each time to feel fresh. Employing frantic double hi-hat grooves, fuzzy, serpentine bass lines, progressive song structures and beautiful guitar work that flirts with a level of dissonance and noise Sonic Youth would appreciate, there’s never a chance for boredom amongst these mostly five-minute-plus songs. Bandleader Kristian Jan Erik Stockhaus stretches the limits of his voice to a glorious metal falsetto on the Caribbean funk thrash of "Feels Like Home,” while during more conversational moments gives the impression of Mothers of Invention-era Frank Zappa singing for Queens of the Stone Age. Familiar enough to please most hard rock fans, and loaded with technical skills and creativity beyond their contemporaries, Ungdomskulen are accomplishing everything the Mars Volta and Wolfmother have been too self-absorbed to achieve.