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Kåre João


Release Date: 03.21.02
Record label: Jester Records
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.


Into the "Dark of Heartness"
by: matt cibula

Kåre João Pedersen used to be the bassist and then drummer for Norway's Kåre and the Cavemen, who then turned into the Euroboys, who started to suck, so he quit to go solo. He gathered together any of the Cavemen who would still talk to him, and this is the result; but I'm still not sure why this is really "his" record. Yeah, he wrote the music for this record, but only sings on one song, "Channel Five," which happens to be the only one he wrote lyrics for; the rest of the words were written and sung by Anders Bortne, who is in the Norwegian group Whopper. And there are a bunch more musicians playing here, too--I guess he's more of a bandleader than an actual "solo act." Whatever.

What you need to know is that this is one great wonderful strange screwed-up record. Only seven tracks here, totaling out at 40 minutes, but they're all amazing hybrids of psychedelia, shoegazer slam, metallic "classic rock," and power-pop. The first track, the seven-minute "Captain Trips," is pretty much a mission statement for the rest of the record, and for all pop music as well: not only does it have more guitar blasts and feedback finery than it has the right to, but it also (probably inadvertently) steals its vocal melody from Spinal Tap's "The Majesty of Rock." That's class. There's some Pink Floyd and My Bloody Valentine here, and it sounds all tired and sexy, and that's the Kåre João sound in a nutshell.

Except that he keeps breaking out of the nutshell. "Channel Five" is refreshingly soulful and bleak (Pedersen should really sing more of his own stuff); the instrumental "Mission to Cure My Condition" throws some Hendrix licks and funky drums into the mix, which rules; and "Dark of Heartness" -- yes, that's really the title -- parlays its "This way we will go!" vocal hook into some kind of universal statement of longing. Or something. It's cool, though.

But the best song is the little three-minute pop gem tossed into the middle of the album, "Frank Furius." This sounds like it comes straight from Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets, with its cheesy hooks and its hilarious lyrics: "Blowin' minds / Blowin' minds out / With a HOSE!" is a wonderful way to chant a song into pop history. Between this nugget of pure pop and the other lengthier funk/punk/rock/techno tunes, Kåre João may have just snuck his way into my 2002 Top Ten; he's right at the top of my "Watch This Dude" list for sure. 16-Oct-2002 9:40 PM