Album Review: Pom Poko – Birthday

Pom Poko – Birthday

Words: Nicholas Jacques

Now here’s a band that you will be hearing about for some time to come. Pom Poko, hailing from Norway, release their debut album ‘Birthday’. A searing slice of nouveau indie-rock with a taste for galloping staccato riffs topped with unorthodox yet playful theatrics.  

The 4-piece met whilst studying at college at the well renowned Trondheim Music Conservatory, Norway. Imagine it like a music college version of Valhalla and you have a good idea of what it’s like there. They all had the same music tastes and other things of note in common too, like the name of their band for example. It’s inspired by the cult Japanese anime film of the same name and look to that as what they wanted their album to sound like; full of energy, surprises and originality …. nice.

So many ideas emerge and the body of these songs have seamless shape-shifting quality to them. They seem to want to be 2 steps ahead of the listener’s attention and this presents a sound and stimulating challenge for all those who are looking for something different. The singer has a strong feral, high-pitched delivery that leads the band through a menacing musical maze. At times the songs have no clear-cut structure and this can make for immersive listening – particularly onIf You Want Me to Stay’ and Follow The Lights.’

There are influences aplenty on here. And they’re far reaching too, from Japanese and West African guitar stylings that combine to create an exhilarating heady mix.Crazy Energy Night’ is an example which delivers with so many cool deft punches to the midriff. Think Deerhoof and Battles playing each other at Street Fighter 2 and you’ve got yourself an unpredictable, intense and exciting match up here. If Chun Lei’s famous special move, the spinning bird kick had a song, it would sound like this!

The intro on My Blood’ comes at you from out of nowhere, grabbing you by the horns and providing an aerial assault to the senses, compelling stuff to say the least. At the other end of the scale ‘Peachy’ shows them at a laid-back and possibly most accessible – with a 60’s vibe hovering around.

The album flows in all sorts of wonderous directions and although it might seem disorientating at times, the idea of this record is to leave the conventional and logical perceptions of what music is to one side in indulge in the colourful chaos they paint here.

They will be visiting our shores in April where they will play at the Lexington in London town. This promises to be a corker of a show – with cascading music aerobics bound to be hitting every air pocket effortlessly, it will be a gig you’ll not want to miss!

Listen to Birthday in full below:

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  • About Popped Music

    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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