Release Date: Feb 6, 2012
Record label: Club Ac30 / Sonic Unyon
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Noise Pop
When all's said and done, there are far worse bands to be compared to than Sonic Youth. However, after repeated listens to The Megaphonic Thrift's Decay Decoy and A Thousand Years Of Deconstruction collections, it's clear they spent part of their formative years in communal worship at the temple of all things Sub Pop and Blast First. Whereas the likes of 'Son Of J' and 'Talks Like A Weed King' suggested them as possible Scandinavian heirs to the Yoof and Dinosaur Jr's thrones, their latest collection serves up a more diverse blend of harmony, melody and occasional slabs of noise-infused brutality.
Norwegian shoegazers the Megaphonic Thrift offer an early contender for worst lyric of the year on their second album, imploring the world: "Take me down to the fire/ Psychedelic desire. " And it's that kind of clumsiness that's their undoing on an album that never quite matches the promise of its blistering, exciting opening brace. Tune Your Mind takes a conventionally "mind-blowing" foundation – the Tomorrow Never Knows drum pattern – then decorates it with detonations of guitar noise that are unpredictable and stirring.
Featuring various members of Young Dreams, Low Frequency in Stereo, and Casiokids, Bergen-based quartet the Megaphonic Thrift fall under the rather niche category of the Norwegian noise pop supergroup. Like most of their respective day-job outfits, there are traces of the usual suspects everywhere, from the My Bloody Valentine-esque bittersweet shoegaze of "Moonstruck," to the Pixies-inspired sludge rock of "Fire Walk with Everyone," to the pummeling Sonic Youth-ish distortion that kicks off the psychedelic-tinged opener, "Tune Your Mind. " Undeniably more aggressive than their 2011 debut, Decay Decoy, it's an often intense listen, but while the propulsive fuzz-laden "Raising Flags" and the sinister "The Guillotine" manage to combine an adrenaline-charged wall of sound with appealing slow-burning melodies, the stodgy space rock of "Over the Mountain, Down in a Teaspoon" and the meandering prog of "Kill, Breathe and Frown" are simply tedious drones.
For their second, self-titled album The Megaphonic Thrift have returned to their roots as imagined on their debut EP ‘A Thousand Years Of Deconstruction’. Where ‘Decay Decoy’ hinted at moves towards post-rock and away from their early, chaotic noise experimentation, ‘The Megaphonic Thrift’ seems to gleefully revel in its Sonic Youth fanboyism and MBV-lite stylings. There’s more odd tunings and whammy bar antics than you can shake a Jazzmaster at, and although the songs do completely blur into one mass of vocals, drums and reverb there’s still a lot to commend this record.