I Don’t Hear A SingleDon Valentine Read More
It seems only right that after a decade of threatening to be the breakthrough band that got the reward that they deserve, should be a pause point to look at that decade. Indeed, it’s been one hell of a ride for the Miami Beach trio.
The two most relevant points in that decade are noted. This Best Of bears the title of the first song they had which went on to be the Radio smash, Something Unreal. The promotion for this album is led by Making Deals, the stand out song from their last album, a song that was probably 2018’s finest and said everything about how poptastic they are.
That album, No Sleep, was IDHAS’s Album Of The Year last year and it’s sensational. Anyone buying this starter point, should also buy No Sleep, I still don’t see a better Guitar Pop album around. But it’s not just about those two singles.
Ex Norwegian have this wonderful knack of appealing to all genres. Nine albums in, they are as beloved on the Power Pop scene as they are amongst the Psych Pop of the Fruits de Mer mass following. They achieve this by being themselves, not by pandering to the latest craze or throwing masses of stuff at the wall, hoping something will stick.
The band are also aided by being able to switch between lead vocals from Roger Houdaille and Michelle Grand. The first half dozen songs here reveal a lot of what is ace about the trio. Both of the previously mentioned songs are there, plus the Psych of Life and the magnificent Sudeki Lover.
But there is far more here to thrill than just those six songs. The UK New Wave of Iniative Rock. the Blondie Pop of Fresh Pit, the Doo Wop of All Hips No Waists and the 70’s Jigsaw Pop Rock of Aventura are all splendid. Love Is is wonderful Folk Pop courtesy of Michelle’s Vocal, a song that ends the collection, but shouldn’t get lost in all the greatness that precedes it.
All 25 songs here are top notch and a testament to what a great decade it has been for the band. It doesn’t end there though. The CD Version has a bonus disc that is also available with the download. Amongst these 23 songs, you hear Ex Norwegian stretch out even more.There’s also a cracking new version of Something Unreal.
This bonus disc also shows why the band have such an outstanding Live Reputation. I’ve spoken quite a bit about how the Power Pop and Pop Rock brigade ignore the 00’s and particularly the last decade. Well, not so in these quarters. Ex Norwegian, to my ears, are the best band of the last 10 years and can hold their own against anything that’s gone before.
Source: I Don’t Hear A Single
Shindig! (no. 96)Duncan Fletcher Read More
Despite nine albums and extensive touring, mainstream recognition sill manages to elude Ex Norwegian, an ever-shifting group centred around founding member Roger Houdaille. It’s baffling considering their ability to come up with hook-filled, quirky indie anthems as exemplified on such radio-friendly gems as ‘Original Copy’ and ‘Something Unreal’.
This compilation is as good a starting point as any for those late to the party. The single vinyl LP makes for a succinct “very best of”, featuring 15 tracks, but to really immerse yourself, go for the deluxe 2-CD set which contains a whopping 48 tracks, with the bonus CD devoted to live tracks, alternative mixes, rarities and hard-to-find covers. You’ll discover a stylistically diverse collection which takes in garage-rock, neo-psych, jangly indie and powerpop. Somehow it all holds together. Of particular interest to Shindiggers will be the covers which include songs by Matching Mole, Todd Rundgren, Family and more.
babysue Read More
We’ve been Ex Norwegian fans for years now. Driven by the multiple skills and talents of Roger Houdaille, the band is easily one of the most prolific and consistently entertaining underground pop bands ever to emerge from the state of Florida. Those who experience the band’s music are usually fans for life. We’re pleased as punch to let you know that these folks have now released a double ‘best of’ CD featuring a whole slew of tracks from the past ten years. But this is actually much more than a mere ‘best of’ album, as it also features previously unreleased mixes, cover tunes, live recordings, non-LP tracks, and other rarities. We were already aware of the fact that Ex Norwegian has recorded some of the best guitar-driven underground pop on the planet. But hearing this overview makes this fact even more obvious and real. There’s a lot to take in here. Spread across two discs are forty-seven tracks of timeless pop featuring wonderful soaring melodies, groovy guitars, and driving rhythms. In addition to being offered online, the album has also been released as a CD and a vinyl LP. The CD packaging is great. The two discs are housed inside a cool tri-fold digipak sleeve and includes a sixteen page booklet. But music is what it’s all about. And you’ll get more than you ever bargained for with this one. This will serve as the ultimate introduction for those who have yet to experience Ex Norwegian. And because of all the additional tracks, it’s also a must have for those who are already fans of the band. So many killer songs here, but a few of our favorites include “Something Unreal,” “Original Copy,” “Unstoppable,” “Not A Mouse,” “Tell Me Your Plans,” “I Like the Way,” “Signed Curtain,” “Smashing Time,” “I’m a Fighter, Not a Lover,” “Funny Zipper,” and “Riot of Love.” Just like all previous Ex Norwegian releases, this one is highly recommended for anyone into the best of the best in the world of underground pop. Highly recommended. Top pick.
PowerpopaholicAaron Read More
This is an expansive look at the talented duo of Roger Houdaille and Lucia Perez [sic]. Early on the band was produced by fellow Miami Beach resident Fernando Perdomo and the results are truly impressive. A massive amount of great music is here, 47 tracks across 2 discs. Roger’s early efforts stand up as the layered indie rock “Original Copy” and Kinks-influenced “Something Unreal” is just as catchy as ever. The band moves across genres effortlessly from psyche-pop to experimental pop, some of my favorites include the grunge guitar of “Jet Lag,” “Unstoppable,” “Initiative Rock” and I’m not even halfway through disc one. If you never checked out this band, this is a perfect primer. Highly Recommended.
Ung TroRoger Bengtsson Read More
En ny och mycket trevlig bekantskap
Amerikanska rockgruppen Ex Norwegian är ett relativt okänt band. Färre än tiotusen månadsspelningar på spotify säger en del. Att ingen av dem jag kollat med någonsin hört talas om dem trots tiotalet aktiva år och ett helt gäng av både fullängdsalbum, liveplattor samt singlar/eps bidrar till den uppfattningen.
När jag nu fått bekanta mig med denna trio så känns det helt klart konstigt att det Floridabaserade bandet fått större uppmärksamhet. Vi snackar snygg pop/rock av ett ganska brett spektra från lo-fi, powerpop, psychpop, shoegaze gitarrdriven rock, new wave och hintar från sextiotalet fram till nutid. Sällan sämre än riktigt bra och om de tjugofem låtarna som utgör skiva ett är representativa för samtliga nio album så är det definitivt inte tillräckligt att inte kolla upp dem mer. Skiva två är extra rolig för de som har mer koll på bandet då det är livelitar, andra mixar, covers och uddalåtar. En bonusplatta helt enkelt. Men en bonusplatta med låtar som faktiskt håller måttet för många lyssningar och inte bara småkul vid något enstaka tillfälle som det rätt ofta blir vid dylika tilltag.
Jag kan verkligen rekommendera denna skiva. Har en känsla av att Ex Norwegian kommer att spelas mycket hemma hos mig framöver. Kul.