Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 241 - 04/22/16

Sweden
Oh, Dusty
Vestkyst Records

Whoa! Ready for a solid dose of over-the-top catchy, ear candy power pop? Look to Sweden. Which right now is located in Norway.

Sweden is a Norwegian pop combo on a pop craze bonanza with their third album, Oh, Dusty. The quintet are led by Christian Spro (vocals, guitar) and Fredrik Gretland (guitar), backed by bass player Øystein Frantzvåg, keyboardist Jon Kristian Furuheim, and drummer Johan Edvardsson (who's from Sweden by the way). A couple of months ago they launched Just a Kid, the album's first single, which put a smile on my face. Pure pop of the happy kind. Almost too happy. Almost. Anyway, the positive vibe and the spirit of the single made me look forward to checking out their forthcoming album. And, yes indeed, here's more of the pop spirit and energy from said single. The title track kicks off an album oozing with pop hooks and sing-along/hum-along/jump-along potential. Yes, "Oh, Dusty" is a way cool, extrovert pop song with tremoloed and fuzzed pop guitars and a smart album opener. Then comes "Just a Kid", and the party continues. This is instant, smiley fuzz pop and sunny power pop of the bursting kind with tons of bounce and stamina. Pure pop energy bubbling all over the place. Simple as that. So, the question is; can this continue throughout the album? Yes, in some way it can. Oh, Dusty holds ten songs clocking in at some 32 minutes. We're talking POP album, yes, all right. Make it short and simple. To the point. Because too much of the sweets and goodies can be way too much. Even when the candy bag is limited in size and colours.

When describing "Just a Kid" I mentioned some Swedish indie-pop acts from the 90s, like Popsicle and The Wannadies. Sweden roam up the same pop alley of these bands. I would also like to mention a similar sounding Norwegian band from the past, namely the powerful (punky) pop act Kung Fu Girls, who had a short-lived and energetic time in the mid-90s (later to 're-emerge' as Bonk). You could also try to imagine what a faster Polyphonic Spree would sound like.

Even though the steam goes on throughout the album, some of the songs are stronger/weaker than others. All of them are very catchy, of course, but not all the songs are as good and strong as the opening pair of songs. Which is almost impossible, I'd say. That said, the album is very good and extremely catchy, and if you are up for this genre you will love it. It's like finding your favourite chewing gum just when you thought it was out of stock, never to return again. Best tracks (besides "Just a Kid" and "Oh, Dusty") are "Stockholm" (of course Sweden has a song called "Stockholm"!), "For Everest (Forever rest)" with its noisy, feedback drenched ending(which makes me recall another 80s/90s act, The Lemonheads), and the closing "Thank You and Goodnight", which fades at the piano by the seaside - waves brushing the beach around you as the sun sets. Breathe. Rest.

Summer starts here - with the swimming, diving, and sun bathing season. And, hey!, it's only April! Oh, Dusty is flavour of the month. For this month, for the next one to come, and for the month after that. It is probably not a classic for years to come, but hey! - the fun is now. Spring is soon here, the sun gets warmer, and all of a sudden summer will come. Smile. Chew. Jump. Dive.

Copyright © 2016 Howard Popeye e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Sweden article/review: Just a kid.

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