Exposé Online banner

The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band — Smorgasbord
(Karisma KAR050, 2009, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01

Smorgasbord Cover artApparently this is the third recording by this excellent Norwegian quintet, although they are new to me. Where have I been? Like their countrymen Motorpsycho and The Last James / Haakon Ellingsen, songcraft reigns supreme, full of melody, hooks, and harmonies, operating within the art-rock idiom while incorporating apparent influences from a wide range of sources: Beatles, Scandinavian folk, early seventies rock and pop, and much more. It’s all well absorbed into this intelligent mix that certainly recalls the work of some great bands like 10cc, Stackridge, Split Enz, and many others, while sounding like none of them. These guys are outstanding players too, though rarely showy – remember their focus is always on supporting the compositions and arrangements, and while there are some moments where one player is in the spotlight for a bit, it always gets back to the song. Instrumentation is two guitars, bass, drums and keys (as well as some uncredited sax and flute), with one of the guitarists assuming the lead vocalist duties, and the other members providing harmonies. Unlike the aforementioned British bands, the production tends to be a little more on the edgy side, like Motorpsycho and recent Anekdoten for example, always bristling with energy and excitement. A plenitude of great moments among the twelve tracks herein, this is one that grows on you with each repeat listen.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Brimstone

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Alquimia - Forever – Alquimia, beginning with her album Coatlique — Goddess of the Earth back in the early 90s established herself as the premier female voice in the ambient/experimental field. A series of...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues