Ungdomskulen - Cry-baby

This Norwegian three-piece have cultivated something of an underground buzz in this country, with early releases drawing comparisons to the likes of art-rock darlings Liars and Battles. With the release of their debut album though, Ungdomskulen prove themselves very much their own beast.

Riffs reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age before they forgot how to rock pulverise from the outset, with epic hooks and lightning riffs very much the order of the day. Early highlight Feels Like Home is a lolloping romp built around a simple melody, driven by a wave of distortion and powerful percussion. Sticksman Ovyind plays a huge role in making this album so enjoyable, forever forcing the songs forward, and he grabs the chance to drive that point home on the pummelling Modern Drummer. Elsewhere, lead single Ordinary Son is a powerful slab of shuddering alt-rock but probably the least gripping of the tracks featured on Cry-Baby - that title lies with Spartacus, which boasts twisting, tumultuous guitars locked in a hypnotic groove and is full to the brim with sinewy, hulking riffs.

Each track is an epic rock and roll odyssey, with few of the songs clocking in at under the five-minute mark, and the trio slip effortlessly from titanic onslaught to sweetly melodic almost-pop. The songs blur into one in the best possible way, leaving a rollercoaster ride of filth and sonic fury to create a wonderful, enthralling whole.



out of 10

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