Norway - Full Moon 124 - 11/05/06
Hopalong Knut is a 9-piece ska-orchestra from the Trondheim area, and Evolusjones trøst [sort of hard to translate, because it's a wordplay: a direct translation of "Evolusjones trøst" means "the comfort of evolution" - which is something completely different than "Revolusjonens røst", meaning "the voice of the revolution", uh... got it? - editor's note] is their second full-length album. They have built up quite a reputation as a live act during the last years, mostly due to their up-tempo-songs in typical Madness style, with the energetic vocalist Kristin Jenssen as an entertaining front figure. Their lyrics are another typical feature of the band, written and performed in the Norwegian dialect 'trøndersk'.
Compared to their debut Feilkalibrert Tidsmaskin (Wrongly calibrated time machine), HK takes one great step forward with this one. This depends mostly on the quality of the songs, actually. Feilkalibrert... contended mostly high-speed and simple power-ska, while Evolusjonens Trøst shows that HK master a broader part of the genre. Here is a wonderful mixture of songs in a more laid-back style, like "Spark på leggen" (Kick the leg) and "Bedreviterdansen" (Know-all dance), put together with the faster and more familiar HK-tunes like the smashing "Hunda som bit" (Dogs that bite) and the title song, which also opens the album. They have also added another dimension to their lyrics by bringing in elements of ideological and political comments into their humorous, "happy-go-lucky" perspective, which is more typical of their earlier work. Maybe this has to do with the fact that the main songwriter, Rolf Johan Bye, on this album has received good help of his fellow band mates - and even some earlier musical colleagues; Bård Li and Trond Eliassen.
It has to be said that there are a few weak points here, too. A couple of the songs, like "Banditt" and "Big bang" do not put up with the overall quality of the rest, unfortunately. Furthermore, the production do not offer the vocals full justice in all of the songs. Pity, really - because this is one of their main characteristics. Listen to the fantastic last song of the album: "Opus # 1", and you will understand what I mean. Don't miss out on this one!
Copyright © 2006 Håvard Kløften