I Was A King

Norway’s I Was A King are feeling a tad whimsical but it isn’t the fjords for which they pine, no they are holding a candle for the year 1990. Their way of dealing with this angst is to recreate the past for a new generation and cast themselves as a modern day Teenage Fanclub, paying direct homage to their heroes here with a fuzzed up, chiming romp entitled ‘norman bleik’. References to the Fannies litter the album with the spirited ‘not like this’ bowling along like a close cousin of ‘Star Sign’ and ‘Step aside’ peering back into the ether to dredge up the effortlessly loose, rolling chorus of ‘Everything Flows’. This love of all things past is clearly second generation however as, while it is easy to pinpoint other 90’s influences such as my bloody valentine there’s little evidence of any Big Star obsession. Should it perturb us that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and now I Was A King are diving for pearls in the sea of classic indie? Certainly not when the end results are so engaging and entertaining or when they are bucking the perplexing current trend of recording music which sounds as though it was made in an old soup can. I Was A King even has a nifty little surprise tucked up its sleeve in the form of the epic ‘It’s All You’ which emerges in the guise of a jazzy piano number which recalls Duke Ellington’s The Black, Brown & The Beige before jetting off into the land of pop like Abba on acid. Derivative but splendid fun.



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