Album Reviews

Ricochets – Isolation

(Pop Fiction) UK release date: 16 April 2007


Who knew such things came from Norway? We thought it was all church burnings, ill informed Satanism and ridiculous white painted faces.

Ricochets do nothing at all to adhere to such a hackneyed view of Norwegian popular music. Instead they are a band that sticks to the well trodden path of sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Tales of onstage fights, numerous drink fuelled arguments, and countless decisions to split the band help to build an image of a band that treads a precarious path of self destruction and thinly veiled violence. Still, we like rock stars to behave with a certain amount of swagger, and the best rock ‘n’ roll always had a bit of glint in its eye (usually the reflection from a quickly opened flick knife).

Isolation is packed with classic sounding rock tunes. Whilst Oasis plundered the likes of The Beatles, The Who and The Small Faces, Ricochets have gone for the likes of Creedence Clearwater, Roy Orbison, and The Doors. While there may be a distinctly American sound to what Ricochets do, it never comes across as affected.

Opening track Cold Outside stages a face off between Orbison and Urge Overkill’s Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon. Perhaps surprisingly it sounds fantastic. You can imagine it as a 7 inch single flipping out of a juke box landing on the deck and kicking in just as a fight sparks in a dusty bar.

Little Bit of More rattles along at a breathless pace, showcasing the fabulous vocals of Trond Andreassen. Raspy and impassioned, he sounds like he’s singing for his life, having been charged with thieving the larynxes of Bruce Springsteen and Mark Lanegan. Exhilarating is perhaps not the right adjective for it, but it’s certainly close.

Elsewhere many of these songs sound ridiculously familiar; Ricochets have a way of tapping into a classic sound that borders on necrophilia. At times you can’t help but be pleased that they’ve dug up these classic rock sounds and given them a damn good seeing to. At others, notably on the exorable No Good, when Andreassen’s rampant vocals clash with some fairly trite but well meaning lyrics, you wish they’d re-dig the grave and jump in next to their latest conquest. For the most part though, there’s a lot here that impresses, whether it’s the wonderfully unnerving rumble that opens I’m Going To Eat Myself or the rousing choruses that run throughout the album.

According to the band’s website they’re on indefinite hiatus. Looks like the rock ‘n’ roll life style caught up with them for a while. If Isolation is to be their epitaph, then at least they went out in style.


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