By Oh No Ono
My formative years, and those of countless others, were brightened considerably by the Danes and the thoughtful gift of Lego they bestowed upon the world. Whilst those little blocks were simple, the permutations of brightly coloured construction were nigh-on limitless. The problem was that, unless you followed the carefully prescribed plans, without genuine artistic flare and originality results were generally disappointing. These were characteristics I most definitely lacked and, in the parallel field of florid psych-pop, so maybe do Aalborg's Oh No Ono.
The general feeling here is that the whole gamut of joyous chirpiness has been thrown in, from the poppier offerings of Flaming Lips and Sigur Ros their more playful, through to the knowingly weird Gong and beyond. However, with all this ground down through the mincing machine, what comes out at the other end is just a little homogenous and even annoying in the relentlessness of its upbeat-dom. Only once, in recent single 'Helplessly Young,' does this really hit the mark; through a decent riff and a rather sharper use of percussion than found elsewhere.
Whilst I'm no great advocate of gloom for its own sake, by the end of track eight you just want to lock these guys up and pump Frankie Teardrop through the speakers. The tempo-cooling penultimate track 'Eve' ends up sounding like some kind of in-joke, so different is it from what precedes. That it evolves into mock-psychedelia era Stones crossed with a Viennese waltz doesn't really up the seriousness stakes, although played out of context it may stand on its own (thank goodness for iPod shuffle.)
The epic (in terms of length, at least) 'Beelitz' which closes the album falls somewhere in-between; not without merit, but still containing too much self-conscious oddness. Is a minute and a half of reverse vocals really the way to end an LP? Not even Syd Barrett himself bothered with more than a few seconds of manic laughter. Alas I fear that these chaps are unlikely to clamber much further up the scale than Whigfield and Aqua with this effort, let alone start challenging those coloured building bricks as Denmark's #1 contribution to the world.