Sweden - Full Moon 90 - 02/06/04
Silence Records / Tuba (distribution in Norway)
I don't know for how long this record has been announced, but it finally arrived. Bergman Rock
a.k.a. bob hund. bob hund: for the first time in English! How can it possibly be...credible? And,
the name of the band? I'm not sure which of two famous Swedes from the world of movies it's an
ode to: director Ingmar or actress Ingrid? I'd say Ingmar, and many of his film's English titles could
in fact have been song titles by Bergman Rock. Or what do you say...: "Wild Strawberries", "Through
a Glass Darkly", "Music Is My Future", "The Silence", "In the Presence of a Clown", "Smiles of a
Summer Night", "Brink of Life", "Man with an Umbrella", "Sunset of a Clown", "To Joy".
After the first listen to Bergman Rock I was a bit skeptical. Something was wrong, something
was missing: the trademark, dead charming Swedish dialect wasn't present. In stead...English words,
sung sort of in a Nordic way (well, it isn't that bad). After some more spins the album and
its songs slowly find their place. It's weird but it's almost like some of the songs are sort old
acquaintances, like they're recycled bob hund songs. Re-arranged, translated, re-dressed. Take f.i.
"Jim" (splendid guitar work, b.t.w.) or "Darkness For Beginners". In fact most of the songs remind
me of 'good old' bob hund, which shouldn't come as a surprise - the two bands are one. The
only difference is the linguistic clothing. As well as the band names of course.
As usual (when it comes to bob hund) the album opens with an odd song called "Wake-up Call", which
is close to being filed as instrumental (it "reappears" later on the album, funnily entitled "Wake-up
Call (snooze)"...). Then "No Position" introduces the bouncy party mood which bob hund is strongly
admired for. At times (earlier on as well) singer Thomas sounds like Pere Ubu mainman David Thomas'
skinny, little nephew, and when it comes to the song "Home Is Where The Herd Is" this clearly
must be an ode to the magic Ubu. "I'm A Crab" (with lines like "I'm a crab, running sideways...")
is a slamdance feast of a rock (Bergman Rocks!) song, but the true outstanding track is "My Best
Fiend" - a masterpiece, and one of the best bob hund (pardon me, Bergman Rock) songs ever!! The
lazy, somewhat sundazed (that's the feeling I get) "Skin & Bones", with its sweet and tender
choir (backing vox, actually) is another enjoying moment. I don't know what it is but it makes
me very happy! "Help The Band" is another cheerful piece of music (as well as lyrics). And when
everything is summed up by the sexy (chilly, but sexy) and mystic (therefore attractive, then
sexy...) "Nordic Dep" I can only salute Bergman Rock for giving us a rock solid, mmm...debut. Not
one of those classics to be, but an album as charming as your favorite Swedes can provide.
And (as always) they'll probably kick-ass/kiss-ass live!
Copyright © 2004 Håvard Oppøyen