Ex-Norwegian's Debut Disc Dazzles
Local band Ex-Norwegian's name doesn't make much sense — we're not talking about legitimate Scandinavian expatriates here, after all. But consider it an improvement over ringleader Roger Houdaille's former nom de plume, Father Bloopy. Fortunately, there's reason enough to forgive Houdaille for his unfortunate choice of monikers; it doesn't diminish his melodic prowess or his ability to initiate a rousing performance from his collaborators. Consequently, this new trio — Houdaille (vocals, guitar, Mellotron, synths), Carolina Souto (bass), and Arturo Garcia (drums, percussion, vocals) — makes its mark with a stirring debut, Standby, recently released on indie label Dying Van Gogh. The record is chock full of exuberant, exhilarating performances and a unerring pop sensibility that's both brash and irresistible.
In truth, Standby isn't so much a variation from Houdaille's Father Bloopy guise as it is a bold extension, given its more assertive stance and modern rock regimen. The staccato rhythms of "Fujeira in My Dreams," the unrelenting pace of "Pow3rfull," and the steady stomp and surge of "Dance Trance Pants" all testify to the band's revved-up delivery and sonic savvy. What's equally impressive is Ex-Norwegian's ability to flirt with a radio-ready stance, be it on the seemingly pop-perfect "Sad Wonder," the buoyant "Fresh Pit," or the percolating "Add Vice," which, coincidentally or not, retraces the sound of the soul classic "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted." With those kinds of credentials, Standby can be recommended without reservation.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.
More MUSIC News
- Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, AKA DJ Windows 98, Coming to Bardot Miami
- Miami Beach’s Centennial Concert: Gloria Estefan, Celeb Cameos, and Conga Lines
- Rat Bastard on the Evolution of Noise: “We Are Always Trying to Come Up with Something...
- Telekinetic Walrus Talks The Spaceship With the Heavy Bass Bump