Release Date: Jan 25, 2011
Record label: Sounds Familyre
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Shoegaze
Norway's I Was a King are folks who clearly and dearly love their indie rock, and their third album, Old Friends, finds them once again reeling off a wealth of influences over the course of a dozen tunes -- everything from Teenage Fanclub's fuzzy but effervescent shoegaze pop on "Nightwalking" to a curious three-way fusion of Sonic Youth, Big Star's Third, and the Stooges' "L. A. Blues" on "Unreal.
Back home, there’s a friend of the family whose response to someone’s good fortune is a resigned “must be nice”. The woman—let’s call her Debbie—means well like most old friends, though we still joke about her defeatist tendencies. Admittedly, as John Lennon put it in “A Hard Day’s Night”, some people have it dead easy. If you or someone you know exhibits these tendencies, take this writer’s advice to avoid I Was a King, a band that makes harnessing the gift of songwriting look so enviously simple you may just lock your guitar away in storage with your SACD player.
Nostalgia can be a funny thing. Far from a passive force, it causes the bohemian-minded to collect across the East River from Manhattan, and drives Tea Party folks daily toward that other Williamsburg that I get to call home. Despite conspicuous resemblances to the more upbeat threads of early-90s indie rock, it wouldn’t be quite accurate to call I Was A King a nostalgic band, in part because they’re Scandinavian.
Although the relationships we are involved in always seem to tumble throughout the many bumps and well, turbulence we go through, there is a consistent love shared with close friends. There’s no denying the familiarity and the utter comfort one can share with someone they’ve known forever and often, it breeds the best kinds of fruition. For I Was A King, friendship has always been at the core of who they are.