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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 114 - 01/14/06

Ethnobabes
My Friend Ann b/w The Television Song
Perfect Pop

At the Luna Kafé headquarters we have a crush on the kind of classic hummable British 60s inspired happy-go-lucky yet-with-some-melancholic-stains pop music that the majority of bands on the Norwegian Perfect Pop label represents. The Ethnobabes fit the formula...eh... perfectly. Still, only their full-length album Stargazer has been given a short review in our menus earlier. The others - the 10 inch vinyl mini-album You Can't Make Me and CD EP Thoughts On Barbecuing - slipped our attention for too long a time after they were released. A shame it is and now it almost happened again. The new 7 inch black vinyl single (anyone who remembers those?) was part of the Perfect Pop autumn package in due time for the Christmas rush along with the latest albums by The Loch Ness Mouse and Haakon Ellingsen, reviewed in last full moon's menu. Now finally, here are the Babes... with a nice sleeve by Jason, an acclaimed Norwegian cartoon artist.

The Perfect Pop home page informs that Ethnobabes started as a five piece in the mid 90s. Today they consider themselves more of a collective than a traditional band. The latest offering seems to mainly involve songbird Eivor Vindenes, guitarist Thomas Fagernes and Marius Ilagsmoen playing a host of instruments, with quite a few guests. "My Friend Ann" is the typical effort. The chord progression doesn't come as a surprise after a healthy dose of perfect pop songs during the last 15 years or so. The guitar smells of early Tables or Loch Ness Mouse, whereas the melody and vocals soften the heart. The overall feel (not the lyrics) gives reverberations of innocent pre-puberty summer holiday days with nothing really necessary to do and no worries. And even the banjo sounds appropriate!

"The Television Song" is harder to pin down. It has a not very typical proud trumpet here & there, glockenspiel and dirtier guitars than usual, even some strange keyboard noises towards the end. Though it is far from experimental pop. The song, about struggles to disengage from that daft entertainment box, is of the feel-good kind. It's tempting to take part in the sweet vocal harmonies of the chorus about 'staying up all night although I should be sleeping'.

It's also tempting to flip the disc one more time, or two, or dig out that Ethnobabes 10 inch EP or one of them CDs or...

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