Album Review

I Was a King – “Old Friends” – [Sounds Familyre]

Thurston Hunger   2/3/2011   A Library, CD

Norweigian bubble gum popping hummability and smacking the
gums with guest drummer Kevin Shea. The band at is core is
a duo, Frode Stromstad and Anne Lise Frokedal. Harmonizing
with charm, and loosely focusing on a lyrical center of the
awkwardness of Old Friends in the present. They’ve recorded
this label in the Sounds Familiyre manger (and to my ears in
a sort of Game Theory halo). An array of instruments/players
minstrel in, including some prominent singing saw, as well
as violins, brass, and even what sound like “Laugh-In” era
keyboards on “Someone is Waiting.” Discriminate raucous
distorted guitar (“Snow Song”) and a saxy burst to launch
“Unreal” show noise used as sort of a texture, to contrast
against the supersweet pop at the center. A playfulness comes
through despite the often despondent nature of the lyrics,
likely from spending time in the Danielson romper room (John
Ringhofer also lends a half helping hand on guitar).

-Thurston Hunger

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