If you lived through the nineties, you had to endure lots of terrible trends in music. If you were lucky though, you followed indie rock and emo close enough to not have to sit through the waves of grunge bands that littered the airwaves in the wake of Nirvana. There haven’t been a ton of bands mix indie rock and emo together well, but it seems like Norway’s Spielbergs have done so with ease on their new album, This Is Not The End. The album, due this Friday takes all that you love about the two and utilizes both like they were meant to happen in the first place.
The album’s opener “Five On It” has the fuzzy rock notes that sound like they’re coming from one of J. Mascis’ blown full stacks, but the structuring is closer to a murkier version of Superchunk. Short and sweet, the song clocks in just a bit over the two and a half minute mark and sets the stage for what’s to come. This fuzzy indie rock continues on the bass lead sounds of “Distant Star,” where the way the vocals are laid out create a sound that’s super catchy without being syrupy.
In fact, the snappy paced songs is where the true fun of this album lies. Songs like “We Are All Going To Die” remind you of bands like Small 23 with hints of Rocket From the Crypt, “You All Look Like Giants” has that Nation of Ulysses feel, and “Bad Friend” is like a mix of Sugar and Superchunk. Keep in mind, these songs are all original, but they hit like those bands did, or at least like bands haven’t in a good while.
The record also has some slower tracks that hold your interest. “McDonald’s (Please Don’t Fuck Up My Order)” is a brooding and deep track that has touches of shoegaze and dark electronica, “S.K.” is a short vignette that breaks up the album nicely, and “Sleeper” takes its time with a slow build that’s closest contemporary would be The Afghan Whigs.
But it’s the quick indie rock where this Oslo trio shines. Lead single “4 AM” has all the emo touched feels that it could have come out when bands like Sunny Day Real Estate and Cap n’ Jazz were still touring, and you would’ve jammed it alongside them. However the best song of the album is easily ‘Not For Long.” With its driving guitar and pulsating drums, the band sounds like they’re recording on borrowed gear right before it has to be returned. With a sonic intensity that stands out, the track is pure indie fuzz at its finest, coming closest to what bands like Archer’s of Loaf and Pavement did in their early years.
You can stream This Is Not The End on all streaming platforms or purchase it in all digital shops including Bandcamp when it gets released February 01. You can also preorder the album directly from By The Time It Gets Dark on multiple formats. You can catch the magic of Spielbergs live when their tour begins February 09 in Oslo at Revolver and runs until May 05 at Hit the North 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, U.K. A complete list of their available dates can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Simen S. Skari.