Norway - Full Moon 190 - 03/08/12
Happy Friday Experiment
Trout As Lubrication Records
Psychedelic shoegazer outfit Rancho Relaxo (RR) hail from
Fræna, a small municipality (population: less than 10,000) located
in Møre og Romsdal county,
on the upper west coast of Norway. Maybe not the spot you'd start
looking for psychedelic shoegaze space-rockers, but it's nevertheless
quite pleasing to get introduced
to a combo like this.
The band formed (and founded their label, Trout As Lubrication) as a
one-man band in 2003, by Inge Kjetil Sandvik Malmedal, who started to
make noise recordings to
his 4-track cassette recorder. Some friends joined (the band became a
band), and Inge Kjetil wrote and arranged songs for them to play. Today
the quartet counts: Inge
Kjetil (vocals, guitar), Ole Kristian Malmedal (guitar, organ), Martin
Schram (bass) and Khalil Olsen (drums). To quote the band themselves,
around 2006 Rancho Relaxo:
arial h font'...moved
away from improvised Spacemen 3 like tunes to a more trad take on music
making. The new songs
consisted of Byrds-like harmonies, jangly shoegaze guitars, tambourines,
sitar and Paisley psychedelia. With 12 strings, lots of reverb, trippy
melodies and some occasional
fuzz freak-outs...'. The band list The Brian Jonestown Massacre,
Spacemen 3, The Jesus And Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and The Black
Angels as some of their 'soul-mates',
or sources of inspiration.
Happy Friday Experiment is their 7th release (including EPs
and albums, am I right?), and holds 12 songs of muddy and psychedelic
rock. I don't get into all of
their songs, or rather, the songs don't grab me. I'd preferred some
stronger and clearer melodies, being or holding somewhat more substance.
That said, I like the mood
and atmosphere RR create. They're a true chill-out band of the
aforementioned psychedelic bag. I like their attitude and coolness. So,
if I'll probably won't play this
album a lot, I'd like to give them a thumbs up for a very good effort.
Some of my fave tracks include the indeed melodic "Intermission
(green)", "See What I Have Seen",
the stellar (or interstellar) space-shuttle "My Heart My Mind", the
Eastern-influenced "Gandhi Is My Gun" (hmmm, must be a shooter of the
peace-keeper kind...), and the
closing "Into The Night".
According to the Trout As Lubrication Records label: '...they have
released about 15 recordings by Rancho Relaxo, Blue Rhino, The Gun
Brigade and The Press Plays.
The label is involved in and supports everything from recording to the
final release. Its not a money driven situation, its all about keeping
music evil. The company is
and always has been a independent operation.'
You'd better support your local bands and labels.
Copyright © 2012 Håvard Oppøyen