Norway - Full Moon 207 - 07/22/13
K Dahl Eftf/Warner Music Norway
Hvitmalt Gjerde (Eng: White Fence, or rather Fence Painted White) has been hyped as one of the most promising, up-coming young bands over the last year, and now they've
launched their debut album, excluding their homemade, 'non-official' album Cowboy & Indianer (Toppen av Elvebakken Undergrunn) of last year. They're said to be
a "...bunch of surf rockers who rather will 'play cowboys and indians'..." (indieans...?). Well, the mixture is said to be inspired by surf rock, 60s psyche-pop, and
garage rock - lyrics sung in their native Bergen dialect (bergensk). All is done with/in DIY punk attitude and style.
Hvitmalt Gjerde's self-titled debut for has this 60s vibe. As in The Troggs, The Yardbirds, and such. Plus a tint of garage-surf. Especially the opener "Vil du holde
min hånd?" (Do you want to hold my hand?) is for sure a 60s styled song. As is "Litt mer" (A little more). "Surfer med Jesus" (Surfing with Jesus) has got, surprise,
a touch of surf guitar. "Skriker til meg" (Screaming to me) is one of the tougher songs, while "Villaren" is a nifty blend of "Pushin' to Hard" (The Seeds), "Till the
End of the Day" (The Kinks), and "Still I'm Sad" (The Yardbirds). Cool. "Nordsjøen" (North Sea) is another cool track. Even though the entire album (10 songs)
doesn't hold my attention, it's a proper album. And, yes, the lyrics are interesting and the Bergen dialect is indeed fitting their sound.
Hvitmalt Gjerde is not a typical Norwegian band to emerge from the last years. The youngster quartet (they're 18-19 years old) counting Johannes, Sturla, Jakob and
Ørjan, show a fresh approach as they dive into the 60s. It's hard to believe they're all born in the early 90s. They must've entered some time-machine, for sure.
Rock archivist (and rock legend) Lenny Kaye, one of the Nuggets curators (and of course guitar slinger of the Patti Smith Group) is said to be a fan, which is
quite understandable. This is energetic teen spirit.
PS! I wonder if the band's name is inspired by Norwegian troubadour Ole Paus' album Sanger Fra et Hvitmalt Gjerde i sjelen (Songs From A White Painted Fence
In Your Soul) (2005), produced by H.P. Gundersen (from Bergen), as a collaboration with The Real Ones (another band out of Bergen)...?
Copyright © 2013 Håvard Oppøyen