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Huntsville
For Flowers, Cars And Merry Wars
Hubro / Musikkoperatørene

Huntsville's For Flowers, Cars And Merry Wars is demanding stuff. And this is music quite difficult to bag. Huntsville is Ivar Grydeland (guitars, banjo, pedal steel guitar and various instruments), Tonny Kluften (electric bass, double bass, bass pedals and various instruments) and Ingar Zach (percussion, tabla machine, sarangi box, sruti box, drone commander and various instruments) - an improv-trio heading in many directions. They're sort of a perfect band for British magazine The Wire.

For Flowers, Cars And Merry Wars, which is Huntsville's third album (their first for Hubro; 2006's For The Middle Class and 2008's Eco, Arches & Eras were released by the acclaimed Norwegian label Rune Grammofon), and their vinyl debut, shows a playful improv-jazz outfit check out a more rock-flavoured field. Instrumental rock like 'post-rock', like Tortoise, or Paul Newman, that is. Huntsville has toured Europe and the USA several times, has collaborated/played with Norwegian jazz-singer Sidsel Endresen, as well as Wilco's Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche (at the Kongsberg jazz festival) and with Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth (a concert in Spain recently).

For Flowers, Cars And Merry Wars is an album holding 4 tracks, opening with the monumental title track, which is spreading for almost 19 minutes! This is a repetitive, staccato, hypnotic trip of, well, flowers, cars and merry wars. There's even a brief vocal guest appearance by artist Hanne Hukkelberg (check some of her brilliant records; Little Things of 2005/2008 and Rykestraße 68 of 2008). The track is quite an energy blast. A small tabla-intermission (26 seconds) called "For The Working Class" follows, before another mastodon, "Ear/Eye Connector" (time: 12:40) plugs in. This is a really spooky-sounding one, I can assure you.

The closing "Star Spangled Pillow" is the only normal track in length and structure. It's also more down to earth, even though it's got a quite mystic and cosmic touch. Plus adding some moments of unpleasantness, as well. Yet, it's a very cool track, and a perfect end to quite an album both exciting and disturbing. Is this the sound of rocket science? As one of the quotes on Huntsville's home site goes: "...armed with a banjo, a double bass, a pedal steel, a bizarre tabla machine, shruti boxes and a fondness for freeing folk from its folk songs - from Santa Fe to Bombay." (Boston Weekly)

For Flowers, Cars And Merry Wars was released in Norway on March 2011. Limited edition LP on white vinyl with a printed inner sleeve. Free CD version included. International release is due June 2011. Distributors: Proper Note (UK); Forced Exposure (USA & Canada); Socadisc (France); Challenge Records Int (BeNeLux); Bomba Records (Japan).

Copyright © 2011 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Huntsville article/review: Pond.

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