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Katzenjammer - Le Pop Album Cover

Katzenjammer - Le Pop

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9.1
Katzenjammer - Le Pop
Record Label: Nettwerk
Release Date: June 29, 2010
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Like snow in July or Holland's upset over Brazil, Le Pop, the debut album from Norwegian quartet Katzenjammer is a welcoming and unexpected surprise. Wading in the waters of vaudevillian chamber pop, gypsy folk and Euro-country, Le Pop is an auspicious and charismatic collection of 12 left-of-center folk gems. After an amiable overture, the disc kick starts with the raucous "A Bar in Amsterdam," a free-wheeling and spirited romp through Dutch bacchanalia.

On the band's more subdued moments, namely the spartan ballad "Wading in the Deeper" the four precocious chanteuses deliver a stark and direct vocal tour-de-force.The histrionic "Demon Kitty Rag," certainly shares a kinship with Gogol Bordello, but the quartet's arresting harmonies helps make the entire performance that much better. Whereas many discs falter in the middle, the center section is augmented by the bouncy title track, the raucous and macabre instrumental "Der Kapitan," and the poignant "Virginia Clemm." On the album's darker cuts, most notably the haunting, "Hey Ho on the Devil's Back," there's an attention to detail and tone that isn't too often seen here in America.

While Eugene Hutz is struggling with his trans-continental hustle, this Scandinavian quartet are chasing down something far more memorable. Bolstered by ample amounts of violin, circus organs, melodica and accordion, these forward-thinking Euro-gals have crafted an album of highly original, deeply resonant folk opuses. Employing all four of the vocalists at various points, Le Pop is anchored in deft musicianship, a slew of European musical styles and a nod to America's folkloric history.

And yet what's most enjoyable about Katzenjammer is that this genre of music is being so widely embraced. Ten years ago, compositions like this were few and far between, often found in subway stations and Hungarian basement bars. But thanks to forward-thinking folks like Zach Condon and Joanna Newsom, off-kilter musicians are getting their due. While their fate in America is still to be determined, one would think the success of those aforementioned curators bodes well for these raven-haired beauties.

If this is indeed just the start, an unpredictable and intriguing escapade is about to take flight. Katzenjammer, you say? Katzenjammer, it is.

Katzenjammer is Anne Marit Bergheim: accordion
Solveig Heilo: flute, banjo, mandolin
Marianne Sveen: ukelele, melodica
Turid Jorgensen: bass balailaka


Track Listing 1. Overture
2. A Bar in Amsterdam
3. Demon Kitty Rag
4. Tea With Cinnamon
5. Hey Ho On the Devil's Back
6. Wading in Deeper
7. Le Pop
8. Der Kapitan
9. Virginia Clemm
10. Play My Darling Play
11. To The Sea
12. Mother Superior
13. Ain't No Thang

Recommended If You Like Gogol Bordello, Beirut, Joanna Newsom


Find Them Here Website
Myspace
 
Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 10
02:35 PM on 07/06/10
#2
TheHoldSteady
Forget your compass and scars.
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The url you gave is incorrect, just so you know.
The actual page is: http://www.myspace.com/katzenjammerne

Nice review, I'll check them out.
03:09 PM on 07/06/10
#3
ayerock
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Pretty nice from the tracks on their myspace. A bit too cute for my taste though
03:51 PM on 07/06/10
#4
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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The url you gave is incorrect, just so you know.
The actual page is: http://www.myspace.com/katzenjammerne

Nice review, I'll check them out.
I thank you kindly :) Going to add the new URL. Thanks for the swift copy-editing. I owe you a drink!
07:48 AM on 07/07/10
#5
jong44
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i've had this album for about 5 months now... did it have a different release date here in the states?
either way, nice review. love this album.
08:11 AM on 07/07/10
#6
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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i've had this album for about 5 months now... did it have a different release date here in the states?
either way, nice review. love this album.
Yes it sure did.
04:41 PM on 07/12/10
#7
Piieterr00
something scares me in this place.
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nicely written :) I agree with you on most parts.. oh and release date is with an a but it doesnt really matter..
08:25 PM on 07/12/10
#8
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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nicely written :) I agree with you on most parts.. oh and release date is with an a but it doesnt really matter..
I fixed it. Thanks for noticing. Much appreciated.
08:59 PM on 07/12/10
#9
MCroft
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I got this album from iTunes (yeah, I know) in March of 09. I loved them from the moment I saw them playing that contrabass balalaika on 6th street in Austin.

Track order is different, Demon Kitty Rag wasn't on it, the cover was slightly different, but most interestingly, songs are up to 30 seconds longer or shorter.

I'll have to check out this release and see how it's different!
09:05 AM on 07/16/10
owiseone35
You need human heat
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I'm really enjoying this, and I thought Laura Marling couldn't be topped (still undecided which Cd I enjoy more) but always nice learning about new bands from you sir.

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