As far as I’m concerned, anyband described as a “velvet draped hand grenade”deserves a second look. The group in question isNorway’s WE. The stoner rock crew (and I use that termloosely!)have been around for nearly a decade,and, having achieved recognition in theirhomeland, are now seeking to take their psychedelicretro-rock further afield.
Having toured with Queens Of The Stone Age andanother Kyuss offshoot, Masters Of Reality, WE defiantlyhave stoner roots. However, they have seized theirinfluences and proceeded off in a differentdirection; their sound is somewhat comparable to other’70s garage rock revival groups such as The Datsuns or fellow Scandinavians The Hives but WE sound much more authentic in their efforts. Essentially they are a Beatles / Stones super-group on acid. Lots of acid.
It should not, however beassumed that WE’s music isn’t accessible. Their songsare infectiously tuneful, big on melody, and mostdefinitely faithful to all that is rock and roll.Kickin’ is a very memorable little number which youwill find yourself humming along to for days, despitethe immensely plagiarised Brown Sugar introduction.
Last track Freak Capital Of theUniverse makes up one-third of the 30-minute mini-album’slength, and is a blizzard of tripped-out solos andspace-like samples, strangely reminiscent of stonerlegends Spiritual Beggars. The epic number isdrawn out like a space shuttle taking off in slowmotion; awesomely powerful guitar and bass roll alongin true “doom” fashion before the song transcends intoa very stoned jam with guitar licks and drum rolls aplenty, reaching climax after climax for 13 and a halfminutes!
As if to prove that there is mostdefinitely such a thing as “too many drugs”, the inlaynotes proceed to tell a fantasy (I hope!) story of”The Fall of Spaceport 22 Benfric” and “The Annals ofFreakweb” (your guess is as good as mine!). Veryconfusing, very frightening, and very much a Norwegianthing I guess!
“Light years ahead” they may be,but it looks like WE have a while to go before theyare embraced by the mainstream market, at least over here. This is a shame because their catchy (ifslightly left-field) sound deserves much morerecognition than it will probably achieve. I have nodoubt that WE would be elevated to their mosteffective in a live setting. With a captive audience,I can see these Norwegian druggies holding everysingle gaze.