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coverpic flag Norway - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 30 - 03/31/99

Bogus Blimp
Men-Mic
Jester/Voices of Wonder

On. Play. Vrrrrrrrrrr.... Men-Mic starts with the sweet sound of a film projector accompanied by a piano, before taking us to strange places in spooky surroundings - to a cabaret world. The debut from Bogus Blimp sounds like something completely different. Join in if you dare to be surprised.

Bogus Blimp is a six (or is it seven? eight?) piece band playing experimental, dramatic hybrid-rock, flirting with jazzy elements and proggy moods. As the opening song Jazz/Speech rolls out of the speakers like a mysterious film reel, it's easy to be captured by the tension. Hmm...glimpses of Pere Ubu? Hear, hear! Then comes Sweets & Love, the coolest and most up-tempo tune of the album. It starts with heartbeats before turning into a steaming candy-and-sex song; goth-a-billy in one moment, something else in the next. A high pulse song, creeping, crawling, with the bass-voice of some candy-bogey-man most black metal bands would've killed for.

Men-Mic (including recordings from the last couple of years) is a mini-album showing a potent band presenting a musical sideshow where you can expect to meet bearded ladies, two-headed boys, pinheads, and other so-called freaks, at least that's the feeling I get when listening to it. The last half of the record is maybe a bit too anonymous, but all in all this debut is quite solid, with energy and intensity as main keywords to tag the music. The whispering Hush Now is a fine oasis between the more showy tunes. Expect no hit material, but there are chances that the material will hit you hard when you expose yourself to the sounds of Bogus Blimp.

Bogus Blimp is quite an experience to see live, with vocalist Christian Mona all over the place, giving everything in a breathtaking stage act. His acting is the central part of the expression of Bogus Blimp, and it's an intense and very physical performance. He's balancing a thin line - shouting, screaming, hyper-ventilating, taking use of equipment such as a megaphone and an old typewriter (like Peter Hammill did with Van der Graaf Generator back in the 70's, right JP?), but avoids falling into or stumbling over exaggeration and parodical drama. The timing is just right and the posing fits the music perfectly. The rest of the band is visually quite discreet on stage, but not so in audibility. The band is: Hilmar Larsen (guitar), C. Mona (vox), Aslak Larsen (sampler), Kyrre Bjørkås (bass), Roger Jacobsen (drums), Bjørn Larsen (electronics), and (additional member?) Simen Grankel (saw - yes!). See them live if you get the chance, to get the full effect of their musical scenarios. Sweets & Love and In/Exhale work very well in concert. Bogus Blimp presents amusement from the darkside, and they're one of the toughest acts around these longitudes and latitudes. Who else have you seen with a Sousaphone in the line-up!?

Copyright © 1999 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Bogus Blimp articles/reviews: Conclusion of Five Year Plan no. I, Men-Mic, Rdtr, cords. wires, cords.wires.

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