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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 245 - 08/18/16

The Hallway
Vestad
Furuberget (N) / Rallye Records (Japan)

The Hallway is an indie rock quartet formed last year by singer Simen Schikulski (formerly of Team Me and Twin Pines Mall). The band launched the single track "Stay & Grow Old" last September and here is their debut EP/mini-album Vestad - which is named after (?) a part of their small hometown Elverum, a few miles (a couple of hours) Northeast of Oslo. Vestad is their hood, I guess. Unfortunately Team Me 'went to pieces' as a band last year, when they announced (on November 3rd) they've broken up. I guess Marius D. Hagen will keep on (but that's another story...).

Well, in fact Vestad was released a few months ago (in May) by Japanese label Rallye Records (on CD only). Now, here's the mini album out on pure vinyl as well. Besides Schikulski, the other three players are keyboard-player (?) Simen S. Skari (another former Team Me man), guitarist Andreas Engeseth (of KitFai as well as being an associate member of Shevils), and drummer Andreas Westhagen (of Carnival Kids, Twin Pines Mall). After the short opening intro-track, "Hello", which is just a short, instrumental... well, uhh, hello they throw themselves into the catchy and swirling "Used to Know", which is quite Team Me-ish if you're asking me (same goes for "Million Ways", but I guess they might get tired of comparisons with said band...). It's even somewhat Placebo-esque, as The Hallway is an emo-tinted band. When naming their influences ('awesome rock, pop and emo') they drop US names like pop-punk combo Against Me!, Conor Oberst's project Desaparecidos (besides Bright Eyes), and The Hotelier. This is a genre in which it is hard to stick out, but I guess The Hallway present decent songs that works quite okay. "Stay and Grow Old" is stadium emo rock, while the calmer "Best Regards" is a song more up Conor Oberst's back alley. The closing track "Air/Closer" was launched as a single (as was "Stay and Grow Old"), but I'd say, "Used to Know" is the best track from this short album (or long EP).

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