Norway - Full Moon 32 - 05/30/99
Spiritual Need is the second (well, the first one was a mini, CD only?) album
by Ring, a one man (plus a couple of friends) project starring Filip R. Andersen, the man
behind Krank Records. This LP presents 15 songs or sketches (some are really short)
from a bedroom on the southern coast of Norway. Everything's recorded on 4-track, with the
exception of two songs done on a 8-track. But, as stated on the cover, one of those is then
"destructed" on 4-track. Just to be sure.
I really liked Ring's song on the Jukebox EP,
so I was curious to hear this record. Everything performed by Mr. Andersen, instrumentation
kept to a minimum. Guitars (acoustic), old type organ (airy), vocals (most of the time),
harmonica (hairy), mouth harp. There's even drums (Andreas Knudsen) on A Blacksmith, a
Pilot, a Navvy, the "destructed" song. And, the music? Strange, and a bit hard to explain.
There are some country "feelings" here, maybe like the moods of Will "Palace" Oldham or Bill
"Smog" Callahan. But not really. There's also a sort of mixture of Nick Drake-fronting-Violent
Femmes-type melancholy folk in more loose and floaty psychedelic surroundings. Or David Thomas'
little brother, with a more guttural voice? The vocals as well as the playing is somewhat in
and out of pitch and tune. But who cares? Ignorants maybe. The only track I find difficult and
annoying is Break Of, which is a too long piece of "nonsense" guitar pluckery. But
still with a sense and a reason I guess.
Highlighting: Cinema Scoope Performance (lovely title!), Last Time Around,
Antitribute, Middle of the Day Breakfast (great title!), and the fine
Kat-man-du (hit potentiality?). Yes, Spiritual Need is a bit introvert and
monotonous, but, again, who cares? Expect strange fruit, but don't be afraid to have a bite.
Copyright © 1999 Håvard Oppøyen