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Dobbeltgjenger: Limbohead

Bergen in Norway throws up more than its fair share of tasty musical morsels, and in the shape of the tongue twisting Dobbeltgjenger we have yet more to savour. Limbohead is the quartet’s second album and with the foursome between them also boasting time with Major Parkinson, Ossicles, Depresno and 9 Grader Nord, there’s also a fair whack of previous time served. And it shows, what with this outfit never quite fitting into the box marked prog, nor the one with pop scrawled in 80s font across the front. That we could easily be found trying to squeeze this lot into pots of grunge, finding them in the odd slice of stoner and sniffing the air for the faint odour of avant-garde, leaves little doubt that we’re in eclectic territory.

You could also be forgiven for preconceiving that Dobbeltgjenger are nothing but a throw it all out there mess. However, what’s most clear as Limbohead finds a new stasis in your mind is that this band write sharp, catchy songs that have you bopping along, without ever quite setting out a low slung chorus for you to sing out loud. And yet the frantic shout of “Swing” is memorable, but then running to only two minutes, it should be. “Locking My Doors” sits at the other end of the scale, luscious strums of acoustic guitar turning the key on layered vocals that would be equally at home on a Soundgarden track as they would on something by Brad, or maybe even Opeth. “Like Monroe” ups the Brad quotient through its wonderfully seductive singing, but then as things beef up in conclusion, they morph into the rough tumble that Masters Of Reality delight in.

And yet, with all the stylistic to-ing and fro-ing, so it is that it’s often the spirit of David Byrne and Talking Heads that surges through, for while the mood and attacks shift into new shapes, so everything is delivered with a real sense of sharp wit, fun and the knowledge that the best way to harness the audience is to give them hooks to latch on to. “Keep ‘Em Coming” does exactly that, but with a garage rock rush, while “Radio” hits its wavelength through one of the grooviest grooves on the whole groovin’ record, before “Mangrove” heads back into that soft, welcoming stoner heartland that’s much more about the gentle caress than it will ever be about the gargantuan guitar.

Dobbeltgjenger neatly sum themselves up as futuristic retro-rock and you know what? That’s a searingly, succinct sound-bite that actually slams the hammer down hard on the nail. That all of it is wrapped up inside 35 minutes confirms those look over the shoulder intentions are followed through, and yet Limbohead still forges headlong into the future. It’s also that elusive combination of being clever-clever and fun, fun, fun and not many albums can say that.

Track Listing
1. Tin Foil Hat
2. Calling Tokyo
3. Like Monroe
4. Locking My Doors
5. Swing
6. In Limbo
7. Keep 'em coming
8. Radio
9. Mangrove

Added: October 10th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Limbohead at bandcamp
Hits: 784
Language: english

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