Smorgasbord (BLOW OUT PRICE!)
"The first thing that came to my mind when I put on the new release Smorgasbord by Norway's The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band was just how much good music is out there that most people never get to hear. In a perfect world these guys would be massive and deserve to have their music heard. Smorgasbord is the band's third full length album. They also have an EP that is no longer available.
Consisting of R. Edwards (vocals, guitar), Erling Halsne Juvik (guitar), Thomas Grønner (drums), Øyvind Grønner (keyboards) and Biff (bass), The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band make music that is sometimes hard to pigeonhole into a specific category. You will hear progressive moments to be sure and so many infectious melodies you will probably begin to lose track. If there is such a thing as ear candy this is it, however, this disc contains so much more than that.
Musically the band has roots in the sixties and seventies but also employs a modern sound that prevents this from becoming a rehash of the past. These are all very talented musicians but special mention should be given to Thomas Grønner's drum work. His ability to change speed and tempo really form the backbone of these twelve songs.
From the opening notes of the quirky pop/rock of "Medic" where an irresistible guitar melody in the form of choppy rhythms playfully mix with organ sounds having a distinct Doors feel, one just knows there is something special here. Folk music can be heard in the beautiful acoustic ballad "Godspeed Mother Earth" a pleading lament to our planet that really pulls on the heartstrings. The saxophone solo combined with lovely background vocals is a real treat. One of the highlights among many has to be the sheer pop delight of "Happy" and that is exactly how I feel after listening to this song. There is a subtle jazz influence heard amongst the light splashes of piano, but the main melody is pure pop with a heavy nod towards XTC, especially in the harmony vocals. The feel good pop/rock of "The Great Yeah" with its killer vocal harmonies and Beatlesque guitar work is another winner that also features a tasty organ solo.
There are also unexpected surprises like "Animal Riot Hill" where heavier riffs of organ and guitar come together only to morph into the slow burn of saxophone and jazzy drum work making this one of the CDs defining progressive moments. Beatle's fans will have a real appreciation for the melodic "Strings To The Bow" featuring strings and lovely harmonies. The album's last song is the melancholic "A Hill Of Beans" where lovely acoustic guitar and strings create a breath of fresh air ending the CD in fine style.
Smorgasbord will surely make my 'best of' list at the end of this year. With its eclectic mix of prog, pop and psychedelic inflected rock, The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band are a force to be reckoned with. Highly recommended!" - Sea Of Tranquility