By AJ Salisbury
Norwegian trio, Spielbergs, have been causing quite a stir during 2018 with numerous publications highlighting them as ones to watch for 2019, including a place on NME’s 100 essential new artists for 2019, and, after listening to their début album, ‘This Is Not The End’, that praise was well and truly deserved.
There is a lot to take from this album, it has pop sensibilities, Foo Fighters-esque anthemic rock hits, moody and atmospheric post-punk opus’ and this is all wrapped up in a polished, yet lo-fi, sound. For a three-piece band to create such a wide reaching, diverse and interesting selection of songs in one package is quite an amazing feat, but these indie rockers have achieved it.
Although they class themselves as Indie Rock, which you can hear on tracks such as ‘Distant Star’, a driven indie jam building to a crescendo of electronica at the end, or ‘NFL’, a more ‘paint-by-numbers’ indie song filled with rapid fire guitars and rising and falling tempos, but they straddle far more than just the one genre.
Track four, ‘We Are All Going To Die’, originally released as a single last year, is more comparable to the aforementioned Foo Fighters jamming out with quirky noise maestro’s Sonic Youth. Packed full of relentless machine gun drums, sing-along choruses, bags of fuzz and all tied together with melodic guitars and vocals.
Things slow down a little for ‘Familiar’, and again, you could imagine Dave Grohl crooning away on this one. That’s not to say that vocalist, Mads Baklien, doesn’t deliver an excellent performance here or on this album as a whole, the vocals are delivered with passion and conviction and Spielbergs seem to have the equation to bottle that epic and anthemic sound and unleash it whenever they please.
Listen to ‘4AM’ here:
Next is ‘Bad Friend’, a straight up melodic punk-rock banger which transitions into the moody and atmospheric ‘McDonalds (Please Don’t Fuck Up My Order)’, which, title aside could easily be that unreleased Joy Division B-side we’d all clamber to hear. It’s an minimalist epic, clocking in at seven-and-a-half minutes of subtle drums, guitar riffs, a slight splattering of vocals and synths to create a sweeping soundscape.
This track serves as subtle interlude, and breaks up the album, which would otherwise be packed full of excellent indie and rock tunes, excellent in their delivery but relentless in their tempo. Sometimes you need to let the listener settle down and have a breather before you drop the hammer and take them from 0-60 again.
After ‘Sleeper’, another down tempo relaxing number, you’re hit with ‘4AM’, the 2018 single which, with a squeal of guitar feedback, pushes down on that accelerator once more before easing off again for ‘S.K.’ which leads you into the closing track ‘Forevermore’.
‘This Is Not The End’ is an accomplished offering, delivering big sounds from a small unit and one I would highly recommend for any fan of rock or indie, 2018 was full of plaudits for Spielbergs, but 2019 could be when they burst into the mainstream.
Follow Spielbergs on the following: