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Mary Anne’s Polar Rig (Sweden) – Dopamine Detox (single/track from forthcoming album)

I like tunes. Strong tunes. Memorable tunes. And that isn’t the reason I decided to feature this song, ‘Dopamine Detox’,which will also be on the album ‘Makes You Wonder’, which is out on March 24th. Because there is no melody to speak of.

This is a little strange because the PR insists that the forthcoming album “is packed with irresistible melodies.” I assume Mary Anne’s Polar Rig allowed themselves to cut loose on this one.

Knowing nothing about them, a little investigation reveals a duo, I think (some photos show a drummer as well). I haven’t been able to figure out the name. I don’t know who Mary Anne is, or why you’d need a polar rig in Malmö, which is their natural habitat. But mysteries are always welcome (and if they want to update readers in the comments, they’re more then welcome!)

They bill themselves as “fuzzpop/noisepop/90’s rock”. Well there’s plenty of fuzz, and I can go along with noisepop. But I don’t hear anything from the 90s. I’ll tell you what I do hear though. I’d call this math rock. Perhaps not quite as clinical as that of the leading exponent (in my book, anyway), Norway’s Pom Poko, but not too far removed from it either.

The guitarist (sorry, don’t know the name) channels PP’s Martin Miguel Tonne pretty well throughout, which is no mean feat, while vocalist Malin Hofvander could stand in for Ragnhild Fangel any time. In fact there’s a mid-section that could have been included on the Norwegians’ debut album, ‘Birthday’; it’s uncanny.

Enough about bands from other countries, but those compliments are at the highest level. And then it unexpectedly changes tack in the final third into more of an indie-rock track with a voiceover that sounds like it could be taken from a chaotic American chat show.

So, what’s the song about? A dopamine detox is “abstaining from all addictive activities that raise your levels of dopamine too high. The idea behind the detox is to stop being dependent on activities like social media, video games, gambling, and other addictive behaviours.” The PR speaks of Malin singing about “getting away from it all”, which is I suppose a euphemism for such a detox.

The irony is that this frenetic rollercoaster piece creates its own dopamine in the listener. Be careful not to overdose.

The album will be out March 24th on all platforms, CD and a limited gatefold double vinyl.

They are set to make their UK live debut next month with two shows in London. One of them is at The Cavendish Arms, a regular haunt of Nordic bands on February 17th. It will be intriguing to see if they can replicate this sound on stage.

Oh, and don’t forget that the UK isn’t just London, guys.

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