Oslo City (Gearhead)
by Ewan Wadharmi
Another entry from the Scandalnavian invasion, Mensen have a thing for garage rock, like many of their Norse brethren. This is an energetic blues version with light psychedelic leanings. Mary Currie’s vocals are fast-paced, yet surprisingly mild. It gives her an immediate niche among the glut of punk acts vying for your indie dollars. Heavy on reverb, the singing is crisp and to the point. Though there’s little differentiation from song to song, it’s an attractive delivery that brings to mind The Avengers. Put in context of the ultra-tight band, and we’re going way back to The Seeds and The Sonics.
“One Minute Away” introduces cool percussive devises to the urgent drive. The tender and sexy “Bosnia” strays the farthest from the pack. The bittersweet love song again points to the ’60s work of Arthur Lee’s Love. A gorgeous simplicity along the line of “Windmills of Your Mind.” Oslo City amounts to a soundtrack for a fictional biker movie, and usually the music in those films exceeds the quality of the film. Then it hit me, Mensun is the anti Max Frost. The music is similar to Shape of Things to Come, but Wild in the Streets created Max Frost for the movie. Here’s hoping there’s a remake of Mini-skirt Mob.
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