Exposé Online banner

Kong Klang — Kong Klang
(Apollon Records APR009, 1999/2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-09-25

Kong Klang Cover art

A melodic rock song featuring both slide guitar and harpsichord… Who would do such a thing? Norwegian songwriter Lasse Myrvold and his cohorts in Kong Klang would. And it works. This kind of inventiveness is the norm on this excellent album that was originally released in 1999. The story behind its reissue is a sad one, however. Myrvold was a well-known figure in Norwegian pop in the 80s, leading such New Wave bands as The Aller Værste, Stilleben, Göbbels A-Go-Go, and The Beste. By the end of the 80s, he decided to take a break from the music business, then put Kong Klang together a few years later. They finally released this album in 1999, but it appears to have generated little attention at the time. Then Myrvold was diagnosed with cancer, and his 2006 death prompted fellow Norwegian musicians to produce a tribute album covering his songs. Over the years, the Kong Klang record attained a kind of cult status, prompting this new release, which contains a number of bonus tracks that were recorded in the same sessions but not included on the original album. For readers outside of Norway, I would give musical comparisons to respected songwriters like Paul Kelly, Elvis Costello, and Neil Finn, though Kong Klang exhibits more stylistic variety on a single album than any of them ever has. In this respect I’m reminded of Ramona Falls — not exactly a widely known reference, I’ll admit. As for the individual songs, I don’t know where to start. Although I understand none of the lyrics, between the great melodies and Myrvold’s emotive singing and the clever arrangements, every song is a winner. And the bonus tracks are excellent as well — if Myrvold had lived (and a label like Apollon had existed to take interest) this band could have easily continued to produce great albums. But the past has passed, and this is what we’ve got: 75 minutes of wonderful music and speculation about what might have been.


Filed under: Reissues, 2018 releases, 1999 recordings

Related artist(s): Kong Klang

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Marc Anderson - Timefish – Usually prog fans expect a certain level of complexity in their music, and a quarter-century's worth of artists have pushed the level of complexity in rock music in many ways: structurally,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues