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Pingvinorkestern: Push

Mälmo in Sweden is the home of the not quite trip off the tongue Pingvinorkestern, a band looking to give you a Push on their debut. And push, pull, twirl on the spot knocking tables, chairs and anything else in their path they do. Far reaching outfits such as Zappa, Emerson Lake and Palmer and Jethro Tull are often shouted in excitement in comparison to this quintet (the first I hear, the others…?), where "everybody also plays ukelele and sings" as well as providing the conglomeration of violins, recorders, vibraphones, saws, chimes, xylophones, flutes and percussion. Oh and Suz Johansson also sings from the heart, over and over again. Don't expect an easy ride, in fact the chiming, buzzing conglomeration that introduces "Madam Else's Genuine Flea Circus" is an early alarm call that creeps, crawls and when you're not looking, bites the nobbly bits on the side of your toes. The music scrabbles upwards towards false crescendos, tumbling back to more controlled climes, before the rich vocals ask "Who Are You?" on track two. Already the variance and eclecticism is plain to hear.

Are you holding on tight? Well you should be as "Alfred The Clown And His Highly Trained Poodles" come trotting into view on a Russian Kossak high kick and 'hey!'. Careful though, "Mood Swings" are next, humming (saw?) and plonking (xylophone?) allowing violin to scritchy scratch and soar, but just in case you were wondering, "No, But I've Got A Dark Brown Overcoat!" snoops from one hiding place to another in a bumbling private eye theme tune style. Before "The First Light" smooths and soothes moving into becoming "Creepy" and a little crawly, "Me & The Wave" allowing you to surf your way out the back end of proceedings in triumphant style.

It's zany, out there and a little bit arty (maybe in places ever so slightly farty). However it's also hugely engaging, remarkably stand offish and thoroughly welcoming. Sometimes it's even just a damn good listen – but not always.

Since then non-album cut "Stora Moerdarbacken" has been released as a single, the ethos of 'we like it, so we'll play it', continuing apace and hugely admirable. Can you keep up? Or should you simply ask "Who Was The Man In The Raincoat", as the 'b'side' does in much more accessible fashion? If you like a little organised craziness, you'll love Push, if you don't, it may well topple you over...

Track Listing
1. Madam Else's Genuine Flea Circus
2. Who Are You?
3. As Hard as They Come
4. You Got a Light, Mac?
5. In Too Deep
6. Alfred the Clown and His Highly Trained Poodles
7. Mood Swings
8. No, But I've Got a Dark Brown Overcoat!
9. A Postcard from Copenhagen
10. The First Light
11. Creepy!
12. Me & the Wave

Added: September 17th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Pingvinorkestern at bandcamp
Hits: 1527
Language: english

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