Band: Suburban Savages

CD Title: Kore Wa!

Website: https://suburbansavages.bandcamp.com/

Label: Apollon Records (2017)

Rating: Great Stuff 4/5



Now this is something quite different. It’s a new album from a Norwegian band called Suburban Savages, a band that is the brainchild of Panzerpappa drummer Trond Gjellum.  I’ve reviewed a couple of Panzerpappa’s releases and I tend to like their “pushing of the musical envelope” approach but I wasn’t quite prepared for the music contained on this album, and I mean that in a good way. It’s very different. What you have here in these thirty-seven minutes is a set of seven compositions that are at first listen, light, airy, bouncy, groovy and you know what, fun. Now having said that I must emphasize there is a lot of serious instrumental virtuosity going on here, lots of playing that at times will remind you of bands like Gentle Giant or some other somewhat complex progressive rockers. The compositions range in length from 3:57 to 8:43 and within those confines the band manages to go through all manner of musical change-ups, fast-to-slow, loud-to-soft and so forth. I’m always struck by the “all-change” mood presented here, even in the shortest of songs, it makes no difference, there is an almost joyful exuberance thrust into these musical pieces that then makes them a joy to listen to. And that’s true even when there are heaps of minor and diminished chords or vocals being thrown at you. Multiple melodies crisscross here and there combined with polyrhythms and contrapuntal flourishes. I keep coming back to the overall uplifting vibe that infuses the music of Suburban Savages. It’s hard to convey but this is music that is performed seriously and precisely and yet manages to convey a free-flowing whimsy that clearly distinguishes their musical approach. Complex music that is easy to listen to, what a treat! Fans of the already mentioned Gentle Giant, mid-period Genesis and perhaps even Frank Zappa will find much to appreciate in the music of Kore Wa!  Check it out!