For the past two years, Ex Norwegian has been quietly gaining national traction on the strength of classic guitar-driven power pop that sounds as though it came from anywhere but here. Anyone still mourning the late, great Alex Chilton can take comfort in knowing some of his musical spirit lives on in Ex Norwegian's slightly bittersweet, lovelorn, hooky concoctions. The trio's particular skill lies in rediscovering the effectiveness of the old verse-chorus-verse and economically dosing them with catchy riffage.
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In some other era, this would be seriously radio-ready stuff, but these days, the band's lack of studio flash and frills makes it sound retro. That same lack of pretense leaves Ex Norwegian a bit overlooked by the city's hipsterati, but the band's new album, Sketch, might very well change that. The threesome celebrates the CD with a free in-store performance at Sweat this Saturday. The disc technically comes out June 22, but you can score a copy at the show.