Katzenjammer - Rockland
Katzenjammer are an interesting proposition. Taking elements of country, folk, pop, rock - and more - cohesion seems to be the last thing on their agenda. Their music school background is evident in the instrumentation - including the ever adaptable banjo and kazoo - and the quartet can all sing a tune or two as well, yet the challenge is to sell that diversity to a wide enough audience. Having put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) around the world, taking in London and Nashville along the way, and building themselves an identity over two previous overtly folk-pop albums, Rockland finds the Norwegian foursome sounding free and comfortable enough to make the album they want, aided by PJ Harvey and Beth Orton producer Victor Van Vugt.
To that end Rockland is open about their influences and eclectic tendencies, without ever feeling forced. The banjo twang of ‘Old De Spain’ is just the first of many attempts to lay down a marker and along with the body positive ‘Curvaceous Needs’ it fulfills their quota for foot stomping country. When veering from the Disney-esque ‘Lady Grey’ to the indie-pop ‘Oh My God’, there are times that Lily Allen comes to mind but the bluesy drama of ‘Driving After You’ will pull you further into their own quirky world. Rockland is all about the feel-good factor and, ultimately, that’s the Katzenjammer calling card.