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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 69 - 05/26/02

Stockhaus
Kid of Today, Man of Tomorrow
MNW

The pop eccentric from Bergen is back with his debut album, following close to the formula explored on the 10" EP Underdog from this last winter. We're talking lo-fi pop aesthetics here and like other talented songwriters in this field, like Lou Barlow, Beck or Daniel Johnston, Kristian Stockhaus moves from genius to dilettante in the course of just one song. All ideas are given free reign and followed through to their final conclusion, in spite of what's considered sensible or normal. For the end product this means we get songs which all the time derails from the expected path. New instruments and new directions are introduced all the time. When you think you have him figured out, maybe as a Beefheart without the blues, he suddenly comes up with something like St. udio studio. Almost pure electronica. Drum machine beats and everything ...

This is slacker music, and you'll find plenty of references to this in his words. Like the opening of "Artificial Missions" "being nice means too much work but I owe it to you". Stockhaus have the same problem with the music as the words, he's uneven. At his best he comes up with lyrics like "she came from France, through the fog of renaissance" ("Pre-teen dream") and at his worst he's just uninteresting.

The biggest problem with the album is the band and the fact that they are non existent. Kristan Stockhaus plays all the instruments himself, and despite being an able musician he's not quite up to the task on all instruments. Why not use the band he plays live with on the record? I don't get it. Complete control?

Best moments: The opening on the album "DIY in N.Y.C." - catchy pop with some groovy guitar, "Read your notes" - power weirdo fuzz pop not far removed from Sonic Youth and "Underdog" - now almost an classic that still stands on all four legs.

I have to applaud the record company who let this nut do whatever he likes. They obviously have a lot of faith in this quirky talent, even if he will have a hard time reaching the big masses with his uncompromising brand of out-of-it pop.

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You may also want to check out our Stockhaus article/review: Underdog EP.

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