Spielbergs – ‘Vestli’ album review

Spielbergs Vestli album review
Photo credit: Johan Malvik

Spielbergs’ debut album ‘This Is Not the End’ was praised by artists ranging from Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil to Jimmy Eat World’s Jimmy Adkins and press outlets including NME, Pitchfork and Kerrang! Now, the Norwegian trio have signed to Big Scary Monsters and are getting set to release new album ‘Vestli’ – an album that finds Mads Baklien ruminating on small-town life and the effect this can have on mental health…

Frantic drums and huge riffs signal the start of album opener ‘The New Year’s Resolution’, a boisterous blast that finds the band trying not to let fears rise to the surface before finishing in a glorious goop of feedback. This continues through to the more militant ‘When They Come For Me’, although this veers between an anthemic emo-tinged Get Up Kids sound and something altogether more shoegazey. Following this, the directness of ‘Everything Creature’ finds stark warnings hidden amidst the melody: ‘This stuff you can’t explain it. This stuff you can’t ignore it’; ‘I’ll see you in my sleep’.

‘Go!’ is a rapid-fire hit that lives up to its short title with motivational lines about hoping for something better in life while ‘There Is No Way Out’ has a more brutal, tribal aesthetic with an expertly played breakdown that gives both band and listener a breather from all the hooks. ‘Goodbye’ continues in this vein with a powerful neo-classical feel before the guitars are turned right back up on the grunge-tinged ode to companionship, ‘Me and My Friends’.

‘Brother of Mine’ finds Mads looking back on being 25 and all the things you used to love before shaking off those feelings of nostalgia and looking forward, even though it’s tough: ‘You think I should be happy and I think you’re right. You tell me to move forward and I said that I’ve tried’. It finishes with repeats of a promise that ‘I will be the firs to admit that I’m wrong’ if things do indeed improve…

‘Get Lost’ has more of a jangle pop sound than what has come before – although it still finishes with stop-start guitar, healthy screams and pummelling drums – before the frantic energy of punk rock anthem ‘George McFly’ sets up the closing ‘You Can Be Yourself With Me’. An 8-minute epic full of heartbreak that reminded us of Elliott Smith – ‘I have done nothing for you, you have done nothing to me’ – it closes this potent and powerful record perfectly.

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