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(38:14; Apollon Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Angra Paa 6:27 2. Alt Blir Verre 6:18 3. 1992 7:31 4. Muknado 4:26 5. Rod Bil 5:27 6. Beksvart Gull 4:13 7. Se Paa Me 3:52 LINEUP: Johannes Drabl's Maaseide - vocals, guitars Edvard Brother - guitars, piano, vocals Hogne Aarflot - keyboards, Mellotron, organ, vocals Erlend Alm Lerstad - bass, guitars, keyboards, Mellotron Jon Bolstad - drums, percussion, keyboards Iver Sandoy - percussion with: Alexander von Mehren - vibraphone, xylophone
Prolusion. Norwegian band Knekklectric has a history that goes back at least a decade, and have been releasing music at a steady pace since 2012. This spring they are set to launch their third full length album "Alt Blir Verre" through Norwegian label Apollon Records in the second half of April.
Analysis. Knekklectric is one of those bands that may well be hard to categorize by many reviewers I suspect, and perhaps Norwegian reviewers in particular. This is due to the band singing in a Norwegian dialect, a dialect that many music fans in Norway will associate to music of a very different kind. On Facebook the band's self description reads "A 661 kilo deaf cat with sharp claws and soft paws", a description that comes with proper associations I'd say. My attempt at describing this music would be along the lines of accessible progressive rock with strong pop music sensibilities with a number of subtle but complex undercurrents. This is a band that many probably wouldn't file under progressive rock, and I don't think we will ever see this band included at a website like Progarchives for instance. The flowing melody lines, often sparse arrangements for the verse parts of the songs and the overall accessible and melodic nature of the songs just won't cut it at that place, and subsequently among a number of die hard progressive rock fans. Which is a shame, as underneath the compelling melody lines there is a lot going on here. The rhythm section in general and the drummer in particular appears to be quite fond of delivering their ingredients with a bit of jazzy panache, and on occasion an instrumental section may suddenly feature a slight nod in the direction of a band like Gentle Giant for instance. The liberal use of classic era keyboards and 70's sounds and effects is another nugget that lurks beneath the surface of the catchy melody lines here, including some fine solo runs and harmony support. That a few nods in the direction of psychedelic rock and that a slight flirt with cosmic sounds on one occasion is a part of the totality here also merits a mention. The liberal use of the organ throughout is also a noteworthy element. That the songs tend to twist and turn a bit, with many fine and expressive instrumental sections in particular, is also worth mentioning. What will put some progressive rock fans off a bit is that the majority of the above is executed in a subtle manner of course, and that the melodies and the harmonies alongside the pop music sensibilities tends to steal the limelight here. To my mind this is a qualified solid album though, very well executed on all levels, and with songs that are as easy to listen to as good pop music but with more subtle details and depth than proper pop music tends to have.
Conclusion. Knekklectric are providers of a very accessible variety of progressive rock on the album "Alt Blir Verre", and pop music sensibilities runs through all aspects of this album. Beneath the surface we have both nods and inclusions of elements from jazz and psychedelic rock in particular, the instrumental sections serve up some very nice keyboard soloing, and the album as a whole also has a charming and liberal inclusion of retro-oriented sounds and effects. The total experience makes this an album featuring what I'd describe as just as much progressive pop as progressive rock, and those who might fancy a well made slice of very accessible progressive rock with solid pop music sensibilities might want to investigate this album a bit once it is released.
Progmessor: April 2022
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