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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 58 - 07/05/01

Tremolo Wankers
Terrible, Terrible Wankers EP
Two Zero Records

I don't know what it is about Norway and surf music. It seems like a contradiction. We don't have endless summers here, it rains much more frequently than in southern California to say the least, and the waves are not suited for ordinary surfing. But we have to make the most of it! In the 60s there were a few bands playing the Shadows' kind of instrumental guitar music. Well-known jazz guitarist and classical composer Terje Rypdal was a hero in one of them. Around 1980 a couple of new wave bands played ska and punk versions of Shadows' Apache. At the same time the younger brother of my boyhood friend had started windsurfing. He went on all year long - in icy waters during winter - until he was a world champion! It's true. Norway's most respected surf band these days The Beat Tornados (see our review of their debut album) originate from the same area. And purely incidentally a couple of the Tremolo Wankers was born and bred here too.

The legend page of the Tremolo Wankers site tells what we have to deal with:
"The arrival of new drummer Mr. Rock, instantly brought about a few changes in style: From now on the Wankers dedicated every song to the Goddess of fuzz-bass, hardcore drums, burning organs and screaming mean guitars. The Goddess smiled back and offered a blessing in return: For as long as the Wankers remained true to their style and never lost their grip, she would provide an endless amount of magic potions that forever would enchant every man or woman present at a Wankers gig!

A Wankers gig is a demonstration of earsplitting apemanship. The Terrible, Terrible Wankers EP is not recorded live, but after all tells us what the Wankers are fiddling with. They're stretching the limits of the genre in several directions. The opener Spaghetti Fever is classic Dick Dale surf with a bit of Morricone guitar thrown in for good measure. Otherwise we get Norwegian folk-surf, film-noir-surf, balalaika-surf, punk-surf, ska-surf (not ska rhythms, but a burning Farfisa sound from an old Yamaha organ that any ska band would kill for) and vocal surf. The latter without sweet harmonies, quite the opposite, rough US 60s punk vocals of the Stooges and MC5 kind! If you don't have the opportunity to witness the Wankers live, the EP is a vital substitute. As a vocal surf group once sang: It's fun, fun, fun!!! And hey presto; the sky is blue, the temperature of surf waters is rising and summer holiday is just round the corner!

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