Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ungdomskulen- Gimme Ten REVIEW

The new wave/prog-rock trio out of Bergen, Norway known as Ungdomskulen (which translates into a variation of "junior high school")recently announced their new album, a concept piece called Gimme Ten, would officially be released on June 6. The concept? Gimme Ten would consist of ten tracks- each lasting somewhere in the vicinity of one minute. In the months leading up to June 6, the band would digitally release one song per week.

On paper, it's hard not to find the concept behind Gimme Ten to be more than a little gimmicky. But listening to the album, in all of it's adrenaline rush, is another experience entirely. For a collection of songs that are defined by their own herky-jerky brevity, Gimme Ten flows remarkably well- less like a Joy Division record on scan, more like an elaborate Joy Division soundcheck. While each one-minute tune boasts it's own personality, the album itself forms as a collective whole better than most would anticipate. Ungdomskulen are obviously experimenting here- molding an obviously minimalist style with the outlandish flamboyance of new wave punk- and for the most part, they are successful. The trio are aware of the obstacles in such an experiment- with only a minute to work with, they are tasked to make each track both memorable and worthy of inclusion. Gimme Ten could have easily backfired if just a few of the songs had been forgettable. Instead, Gimme Ten is more than enjoyable enough to generate interest in what Ungdomskulen have up their sleeve next- hopefully, something titled Gimme Forty.


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