Honningbarna – Verden Er Enkel

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Review by Phil Wilson

EMI Norway

The predominant problem with taking up a Norwegian punk band for review comes in the form of a complete lack of knowledge of the Norwegian language.  Thus, when I received Honningbarna’s newest release, Verden Er Enkel, I had to bestow my full trust in the band’s lyrical content. Hopefully nothing suspect has passed me by.

Straight off the trot comes ‘Dodtid’, with a rapid solo guitar building up to a full band momentum – already several tastes of punk outfits of old filter through, tinged with a funk/metal, Mammal-esque style. Violent vocal work reminds that the language barrier is a non-issue: what’s a great punk band if you can understand the lyrics first time around? A seamless, feedback soaked transition sifts from the introductory tracks to the meat of the record. From here the pace continues, and the album firmly sets its own tone, overspilling with musical nods to various bands along the way – no bad thing, as the group clearly hail from a strong musical stock. However, midpoint track, ‘Tynn Il’, suddenly turns the style on its heel. Squealing guitars, thundering percussion, and caterwauling vocals all take a backseat for an alternative rock melody seeping out from the opening tones. Although only totalling at just over two minutes, the track is more than just a display of different technique, it showcases that the band aren’t blinkered by the genre they find themselves in.

The uniform sound of contemporary, “three chord” punk music could benefit greatly from the diversity on show here. Above all, it becomes clear that Honningbarna aren’t afraid of striving for something a little different – regardless of whether it functions. In saying that, as the record progresses it becomes almost impossible to avoid subconsciously comparing the music to that of The Hives. Perhaps this is evidence of something of a cultural effect, as both bands spring from Scandinavian backgrounds – or maybe it’s just my embarrassingly prominent ignorance of the great wide world. Hives or no Hives, ‘Offerdans’ – found in the concluding moments of the album – shows a slight regression and indulgence in the group’s earlier sound. Yet the intent to splinter into new ground was there and the fun, hurtling form of the band’s trend is far from unpleasant in itself.

Verden Er Enkel offers enough to whet the appetite of any self-respecting punk/alternative rock fan. A successful offering from a proficient band – the album takes a noble strive towards combining some of the vivacity of other genres and pressing them through a punk lens. At such a young, collective age, Honningbarna are a sure-thing for a bright future. Hopefully they’ll take their time, though. I hear learning Norwegian is a lengthy pursuit.

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Honningbarna - Verden Er Enkel7 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Dodtid
  2. Ikke La Deg Rive Med
  3. Velkommen Tilbake
  4. Tynn Is
  5. Fritt Ord, Fritt Fram
  6. God Jul, Jesus
  7. Sinna Dame
  8. Fuck Kunst (Dans Dans)
  9. Offerdans
  10. Ned
  11. Si Nei
  12. Verden Er Enkel
  13. Gi Oss Kick