The band members have last names like Garcia, and there's nothing even particularly Scandinavian-sounding about this homegrown trio. Formerly known by the definitely worse name Father Bloopy, the group refreshingly mines musical territory often forgotten in these parts — classic guitar power-pop of yesteryear. And filling this musical void has ensured that the band's short existence has been pretty damn stellar — it regrouped as Ex-Norwegian just last summer, and a few months later played to enthusiastic crowds at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York. Thanks to initial tracks' reception on YouTube and the like, a debut full-length album, Standby, is due out in March.
Possibly the only young, attractive local band to cite Badfinger as an influence, Ex-Norwegian has absorbed that group's (as well as Big Star's and the Raspberries') penchant for wistful, sliding melodies over a pleasantly, slightly dirty guitar chug. Still, the songs have enough of a new-indie polish to keep the less music-history-educated kids happy too. Alex Chilton would be proud.