Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Skånnråkk (Norway) – Kitty Kat (sample track from the album Gratis Øl)

Skånnråkk, which means Skånnråkk in English according to Mr Google, not ‘the beautiful view from the top of the mountain into the gleaming fjord and beyond to the pulsating city’ or something else out of the Tourist Board literature, hail from the town of Hokksund, which Mr Google Maps tells me is about 15km west of Drammen, Norway’s sixth biggest town and itself within shouting distance of sin city Oslo.

You just love your NMC geography lessons don’t you?

Experience tells me that in most countries much of the best music comes from satellite towns like these. Not part of the big city but not out in the boondocks either, just regular small-mid size towns off the tourist path where there’s not much else for the kids to do at night apart from making music.

They do their own PR and they say they are going to rock your socks off. Be assured they do just that.

I was going to offer you the title track, ‘Gratis Øl’, as the sample. It means free beer (not Just Stop Oil) and I was hoping that they might drop me a crate or two if I wrote something nice about them.

But they don’t need to be bought anymore than I do. The sample is the first track, ‘Kitty Kat’. They must have some pretty wild felines in the alleyways of Hokksund and they’ve definitely been let out of the bag.

It steamrollers along from the get-go, reminiscent of early Rolling Stones in some ways, complete with cowbell and sweet guitar shredding, throwing in bits of prog and metal and culminating in a deathly laugh that could only come from Dr Evil or the Bond villain Blofeld. He had a kitty cat didn’t he?

A quick listen to other tracks reveals the same energy, together with mighty guitar riffs, odd time signatures, acoustic guitars, a double bass, something that could have come off the soundtrack of a Michael Mann film and which then morphs into the punk chant of the week – “Bacon!” – and the strangest song title I’ve seen this year – ‘Shitkiller’. Can you buy it in as an aerosol spray in Norway? I think you’ll find its dead already, lads.

Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

Skånnråkk is: Mats Nedberg, Tore Torgrimsen, David Christian Smith (sounds rather English to me, old chap), and Mats Faugli.

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