Norway - Full Moon 47 - 08/15/00
Skrømt (Spook) from Trondheim have been around since 1994, and this EP/mini-album
is their 3rd release. Trønderheimen, their debut 5-song EP came in 1996
(released by Norske Gram AS - the crappiest company around Norway. Say no more.). Since
then they've decided to do things themselves, with their own label Gunder Grammofon, without
being pushed around by unserious businessmen only in it for the money. Last year's Fortsatt
spent (Still excited) held 7 songs, and the latest attempt to tease the consumers is
another 5-song EP called Fine dager (Fine days).
According to Skrømt they see no point in releasing full albums when there's always
a song (or more) not good enough too be included. It's better to down-size quantity, to make
sure quality wins. Wise words, too bad not enough bands and artists have the same thoughts.
Anyway, the record kicks off straight into the Na-na-na-na chorus of Komplett (Complete),
maybe showing Skrømt from a more poppier side than ever? They're still a folk/pop/rock
band with an acoustic (sort of, but they're of course plugged) approach, with singer Ottar
doing things his very relaxed, "unshaved" way. By being loyal to the Trønder dialect
they are bagged as Trønder-rock; a "genre" dragged into the mud over the last few years
by a big-selling, but totally lame band I won't even think of name-dropping here. Next song
is excellent. Super dag (Super Day) sounds like being very Ray Davies/Kinks inspired,
and is simply a lazy (sunny/shady) pop song about swimming and dreaming, with a most fitting
electric piano. Neat. Ottar has written three of the songs, while Jon Birger (sax, guitar,
harmonica, etc.) has signed one, Bots og bededag (English translation anyone...? Yes,
one of our readers responded: Day of Penance and Prayer. Thank you, Erik Spjelkavik);
about struggling with a grim hangover. Fifth song, Grodag (uh, hard to translate some
of these Norwegian words....An Extra Day Off ?) is written by bassman/backing vocalist
Håvard (Mr. Leeds), and is a more up-tempo pop song reminding me of another Norwegian
pop group; de Lillos. Catchy. But I'm not to keen on that harmonica. Final track, the ballad
Sivilingeniør (Master's Degree) by Ottar is a tragic tale of young man going downhill. Nice,
despite the sad lyrics.
A beach inspired record, this one, all done in their own studio (recorded, mixed, produced).
I find the sound a dash too clean for Skrømt. Wasn't last record a bit rougher? And there
should've been some more guitars. But maybe that's just my head getting things wrong.
For ordering info contact Gunder.
Copyright © 2000 Håvard Oppøyen