by Martin Hutchinson
“Re-emerging from the primordial soup of modern music, Moron Police return with A Boat on the Sea in the hopes of offering something different to those who would listen. Having formed in 2008, their career has seen many strange twists along the path to its release. They’ve played live with a full-piece orchestra, had one of their songs performed across the US by the award-winning Los Alamitos Show Choir, performed across Scandinavia and at various popular festivals (Hove, Norway Rock Festival, by:Larm), even on a small island with a lighthouse, trapped in the maw of the ocean.”
You’ve got to love a bit of enthusiastic PR work but the email I received from Mighty Jam Music Group certainly piqued my curiosity and, while not totally enamored by the band’s choice of name, their music certainly more than makes up for it. I’m also a sucker for the fancy album art and the front cover (by returning cover artist DULK of A Boat On The Sea is visually stunning and a great start.
The phrase ‘mad as a box of frogs’ perhaps get overused in this day and age but is a perfect way to describe this album and the musicians who created it. Vibrant, catchy and incredibly infectious, it’s 32 minutes (criminally short in my opinion) of energetic hyper-activity infused with incredible melodies and musicianship. There’s even Techno in here, seriously, there’s techno in here.
The opening introduction of the laid back languid “Hocus Pocus” gives you no idea of what frenetic brilliance is to come, you get one minute and twenty seconds to get yourself ready for the upcoming thrill ride. “The Phantom Below” is an absolute blast, you can feel the smile on your face turning into a huge grin as the inventive time signatures and hyperactive rhythm take you on a on a musical thrill ride, one that invites you to sing along with the addictive chorus. The blue touch paper has been well and truly lit…
The smiles and high energy thrills continue with “The Invisible King” and “Beware The Blue Skies”, it’s like all the musical chops of these eccentric Norwegians have been thrown into a melting pot to create extremes and excess but they all come together as a wonderful cohesive whole. Vocal harmonies, intricate guitar work, a tirelessly enthusiastic rhythm section and a wizard on the synths all gel to give the most fun you can have with musical instruments (well legally anyway…).
The tracks seamlessly blend into each other as “The Dog Song” gives a slight impression of a pause for breath (and I do mean slight), there’s a feel of Green Day with major progressive rock leanings to the whole album but especially on this song, I swear that the music has an inherent sense of humor.
We then come to a superb finale, a triumvirate of songs that totally epitomize what Moron Police are all about and it would be churlish of me to choose between any of them as my favorite on the album as I love them all. “Captain Awkward” has feel good music summed up in its five minutes run time. Too short to be an overture but it has that feel, well if Mad Jack Mc Mad ever did an overture that is, the repeated musical refrain is so addictive it gets stuck in your head and you will be humming it for days. And just when you think you’ve got this song figured out, the middle breaks is so surprising, it makes the song all that much better. The music has more hooks in it than a fishing tackle shop, utterly engrossing and so much fun it should be illegal!
This high-octane brew doesn’t let up and “The Undersea” hovers into view at breakneck pace, pulling you into the whirlwind and whisking you off on a journey of inspiration and joy. This mind-blowing trip comes to a close with the machine gun intro to “Isn’t It Easy’” almost as if someone has an LP on the wrong speed. The skill of these musicians to deliver note perfect tunes at the speed of light is incredible. You want a catchy, sing along chorus? Well, you’ve got one of the catchiest of all with this song. Addictive and adventurous, but with an underlying current of Scandinavian melancholy, I’m caught up in every note and every time signature. I challenge you to listen to this song without your body twitching and itching to get up and dance and you will be singing along to the chorus (at the top of your voice, in the car, in full view of everyone) if you’re anything like me!
I honestly cannot remember having this much fun listening to a record in a very long time, there’s an utter freedom to the songs and the music, an almost childlike immunity to the cares of the world. With everything that is happening in the so-called civilized world today, we could all do with a dose of the magical Moron Police in our life so do yourselves a favor and buy this album, you will never regret it!
Released August 16th, 2019 on Mighty Jam Music Group
1. Hocus Pocus
2. The Phantom Below
3. The Invisible King
4. Beware The Blue Skies
5. The Dog Song
6. Captain Awkward
7. The Undersea
8. Isn’t It Easy
Moron Police are:
Sondre Skollevoll – vocals, guitars, other things
Thore Pettersen – drums, percussion,
Lars Bjørknes – Keys.
Christian Steen – Bass