Text to speech, EDM, and a guitar solo with laser sounds. These are a just a few of things you will be treated to in the opening minutes of Troldhaugen’s latest album, ‘Idio+syncrasies’. Crowd funded in less than 24 hours, it’s safe to say there is a fair bit riding on the success of this album.
Serving as a sort of trial by fire for new listeners, the aforementioned album opener ‘I Ordered a Taxi Driver Not a Taxidermy’ gets things off to an appropriately head-spinning start. Leaping from genre to genre, adding in new elements and changing on a dime, Troldhaugen treat the listener to a 4 insane minutes and a couple of gloriously bouncy choruses before moving right along to ‘CRISPr Me Baby One More Time’. Featuring one of the heaviest choruses on the album and sounding a bit like a circus freak show obsessed Crossfaith, this is an absolute stomper of a track. ‘BMX-Terminator’ is sheer, sugar-rush fuelled fun, with a chorus as irreverent and catchy as a Parry Gripp song. It’s at this point the listener is treated to one of the album’s brief interlude tracks, ‘Mr. Troldhaugen On Politics’. Barely 30 seconds long, the odd little skit wraps up fairly quickly and gets back to the tunes.
‘Poultrytician’ and ‘Mambo Mambo (Binko Banko)’ keep things jovial with oddball lyrics, sing along moments, and more excellent playing (see the former track’s solo section), before ‘It’s Morphine Time’ challenges the listener to not groove along to it’s infectiously funky verse riff, or air guitar along to it’s bitchin’ outro solo section.
Another quirky interlude track offers a brief respite from the heaviness before throwing the listener into the undeniable highlight, ‘Jaw Drop’. Sporting the hardest bounce on the record, this is a dark, reggae tinged banger of a track with chorus that wouldn’t feel out of place on an early Enter Shikari album. ‘Mannequin Checks In’ keeps the momentum going before ‘Genome In a Bottle’ wraps things up with another 4 minute cavalcade of electronic, metal, and miscellaneous influences all held together by yet another massive chorus. Finally we’re treated to a jaunty Monty Python-esque outro track ‘P3R5P3C+iV3_M4N’, and thus ends one of the most entertaining and enjoyable listening experience of 2017.
The musicianship on this album is superb, but show more often than not it’s the vocals that steal the show. Inventive and exciting, the vocals act as a sort of mad tour guide through the world of ‘Idio+syncracies’. Additionally, when each track delivers a shot of mosh inducing adrenaline, and the irresistible urge to dance like a maniac in equal amounts, one can only imagine how much fun this material is going to be in a live setting.
The band manage to weave seemingly disparate musical elements with total conviction, and to great effect. Indeed, as eclectic and as downright irrational as the music might seem, it never feels random at the expense of the listener’s enjoyment. Even the interlude tracks, while not exactly adding all that much, ensure the listener stays immersed in Troldhaugen’s insane little world. Certainly, this record will have the listener scratching their head at times, but they’ll no doubt be grinning from ear to ear and eagerly nodding along too.