Pogo Pops — Love Is the Greatest Compass
(Apollon Records APO18, 2017, LP)
by Jon Davis, Published 2017-08-12
If you’re yearning for the Golden Age of 80s pop-rock, when bands like The Church, Style Council, New Order, and Crowded House were at their peak and a catchy melody backed with jangly guitars and a hint of psychedelia wasn’t a sure ticket to oblivion, you’ll enjoy this offering from Pogo Pops, a Bergen band that’s been around for quite some time without making much of an impression outside Norway, though they’re regarded as a precursor and inspiration for bands like Kings of Convenience and Röyksopp. They released four albums in the 90s, then broke up, but reformed and resumed recording in 2009. Love Is the Greatest Compass is the third release from this second phase of the band, and their first on Apollon Records. Lead singer Frank Hammersland has a pleasant voice that often reminds me of Steve Kilbey of The Church, and the songs are all written intelligently, with a good balance of consistency and variety. The title track is a driving psych tune reminscent of Julian Cope, and "Curtains" is a trippy drone with dreamy keyboards and spaced-out effects. The album has a dreamy, sunny quality that is eminently listenable and should appeal to fans of the new wave of psych bands found on Mega Dodo and Fruits de Mer. And for this fan of avant-garde and experimental music, Pogo Pops provide a nice change of pace, a kind of palate cleanser free of dissonance and difficult sounds.
Related artist(s): Pogo Pops
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more