This thrilling debut sees the Oslo three-piece harness the power of pop rock, and mix it into a rich palate of shredding slacker rock guitar riffs, melodious harmonies and heart-swelling choruses. An incredibly accomplished first record, it pays homage to the giants of the genre without ever being enslaved to their tropes. Never mind the end, it makes for a fine beginning.
There’s a pleasing lo-fi quality to opener ‘Five On It’, little needles of feedback cutting through a sound mix that is rough and ready. Each member of the trio takes their chance to add new layers, whether it is Stian Brennskag’s rumbling bass intro to ‘NFL’, or the pummelling pulse of Christian Løvhaug’s drums during the phenomenal ‘We Are All Going To Die’, a track that builds and builds, and then just where you think it couldn’t possibly keep going, shoots even further past where other bands would have peaked.
Dropping in ambient interludes and moments of post-rock world-building, there is far more to them than initially meets the eye. Meanwhile, in Mads Baklien’s jagged vocals and crunching guitar solos and the unusual harmonies that spring up at unexpected points, there is a clear through line to 90s alt-rock bands like Dinosaur Jr. Just as those big beasts did, and the auteur with whom they share a name, Spielbergs make it look easy to quicken the pulse and lift the spirit. This is a band you’re going to want to share some close encounters of your own with.