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Tusmorke: Fjernsyn I Farver

If I told you that Fjernsyn I Farver is the follow up to a kids-progressive album, you’d probably look at me askance and whisper about me under your breath. But it’s true ��" oh no it’s not… oh yes it is! Tusmorke are the band and Bydyra was the album where they dressed up as animals and added a host of kiddie choruses to their idiosyncratic 70s prog and psych. Fjernsyn I Farver finds things back in more expected territory. Put the kids to bed, it’s time for the grown ups to play!

And play they will, with the title track romping, stomping and clonking into view with bell chimes, flute trills and hi-hat shuffles. Up tempo doesn’t even begin to cover what’s going on here as the Norwegian vocals from Benedikt Momrak (the Benediktator to you me and, presumably not his mum) bounce off the walls like one of those hard as nails rubber balls you could just about send into orbit when you were a kid scaring the bejeezus out of your parents. This is a serious pulse of angry good times with a razor sharp delivery. The song’s title translates into ‘Colour TV’ but that’s as far as I can tell you, and as is the case with the follow up “Kniven I Kurven” (‘The Knife In The Basket’) that’s a real shame, because the lyrics feel intrinsically linked to the success of what’s going on here. They get room to breathe, space to make their mark and are often pushed to the forefront for maximum effect. However, with them being in Norwegian, I have no idea what the message is behind them, a fact that feels like it really does lessen their impact.

Usually I’m a strong advocate of bands singing in their native tongue and while I’ve still tried to holler along - Benedikathinymugig is more of an energy over precision type guy - and doubtless mangled my pronunciation along the way, I can’t quite shake off the notion that I’m only getting half the experience here. Something compounded by the wild shake and boing of “Death Czar”, which is the only track sung in English. However, with the vocals deeper in the mix, maybe the message is that you are meant to decipher all of this stuff yourself? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that Benediktatorororor is more effective operating in his native tongue than he is when he is not. So it’s kind of a catch 22.

With only six songs on show, most of the tracks fall into the 7 to 9 minute bracket and are given possibly too much space to grow, the time instead used to repeat an awful lot of what is laid out early on in the songs as flute is employed to repeat motifs over and over. More shorter pieces might have made a stronger impact on me, although that’s obviously a personal taste thing and not much more.

Tusmorke are a tight, effective and devil may care like outfit, their muse dragging them to their conclusions. I didn’t always feel like I was able to share their vision or message, but when they ramp up the energy, as they do on this album’s opening two numbers, the joy that abounds is utterly infectious.

Track Listing
1. Fjernsyn i farver
2. Kniven i kurven
3. Borgerlig tussmørke
4. 3001
5. Death Czar
6. Tøyens hemmelighet

Added: November 23rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Tusmokre @ bandcamp
Hits: 626
Language: english

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