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Dipsomaniacs
Reverb No Hollowness
Apartment / Progress

Since the release of their acclaimed, but discreet and hardly available debut album, Bumble Bee Eyes early last year, Dipsomaniacs has taken some giant steps. From being the one-man-project out of Øyvind Holm's head and heart, Dipsomaniacs has now become a band. And when absolutely everything has improved; song-writing, arrangements, performance and production, well...Girls and boys: say hello to Reverb No Hollowness - The Norwegian Album of The Year.

Drummer Arve Gulbrandsen and bass-player Robert Skjærvik joined the band since the first LP (the trio recorded and released the Subterfuge EP last winter), and the trio has become a tight unit. They've performed live to rave reviews, and it seems like some of the roughness from playing 'live' has been successfully transferred to the recording studio and onto tape. All of them are excellent musicians, and a perfect combination of talents it seems. They play without exaggeration, presenting pop-realism that shows authenticity and character, without cosmetic gobbledegook.

Øyvind Holm has written 11 pop-songs of remarkable quality. Of course all the songs aren't elegantly moving, genius-like goddesses. But the quality level is very high indeed. You can still hear Holm's passion for The Beatles, at least on a couple of songs, f.i. Land Escapes and Whatever Misery For Miles. But now I also sense some heavier influence from Alex Chilton's (and Christopher Bell's!) Big Star, on songs like the opening track Telly Anyway and Infant's OK. Also the Byrds' way of arranging the harmonies comes to mind, on one of the pearls of the album, Will I Ever.

Lyrically Reverb No Hollowness is mostly about sleepless nights, wondering when the misery of one's life will fade away when "falling in" is replaced by "dropping out" of love. Holm portrays tense melancholy, presents sweet- and sourness, and describes disharmony and nagging thoughts. Themes that maybe match the feelings Øyvind Holm describes he felt while being in the midst of the song-creating process: "Carrying 11 half-written tunes in your head at once, is probably a lot similar to hearing inner voices." (Ø.H. - from the insert sheet)

Absolute and ultimate favourites from Reverb No Hollowness: The calm and majestic ...Space Not Mind, one of the most beautiful songs ever written by a Norwegian artist - floating on a mellotron-veil, steered by great vocals and the most accurately plucking guitar. Followed by the song In My Mind, which is Dipsomaniacs from their roughest side. Noisy guitars, staccato rhythms, and a tight-rope bumble-bee bass. Smashing!

Well, the Dipsomaniacs still play around the lo-fi league, and will probably never reach promotion to the big league when it comes to drawing the biggest home crowds. But this time they've reached halfway to hi-fi, which, I guess, is the closest the Dipsos ever will get to a higher fi. Most important; the "good-fi" presented on Reverb No Hollowness suits the music very well (despite some annoying distortion along the grooves of my vinyl copy; intended or what?), and if the world was sane they should've sold a bit more than a decent number of records. No hollowness, just sincerity. Excellent pop music. Buy this record! Right now!

Released on LP by Apartment Records, Gyldenløvesgt. 29, 7014 Trondheim, Norway
On CD by Progress Records, PO Box 5120, 7002 Trondheim, Norway

Copyright © 1998 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Dipsomaniacs articles/reviews: Bellows Make You Burn More Brightly, Bumble-bee Eyes, Stethoscopic Notion, Subterfuge EP.

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