4

Ex-Norwegian's Debut Disc Dazzles

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

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.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.