Katzenjammer – Le Pop

katzenjammer_lepopMusically speaking, authenticity is a mug’s game. A fella can’t sing about being heartbroken until he’s had his ventricles smashed, and the pretty girl can’t sing about being stood up at the prom.

Hogwash. Singing is acting. If you can fake it, that’s about as good as meaning it.

Katzenjammer, an exceedingly adorable quartet of female Norwegians who play just short of thirty instruments, trade off in concert (one girl plays drums for one song, bass for the next, and trumpet for the next while singing lead), and all around have a great time singing about drowning, or losing their soul, or listening to pop music.

The instrumentation is Eastern European pop and the tone shifts from a spritely sing-along to a backwoods hush. The creepiest song is “Virginia Clemm,” a ghost story that differs from, say, “Phillis Ruth,” the eeriest of 16 Horsepower’s ghost songs, in that David Eugene Edwards sounds like he’s in mourning, while the Katzenjammer girls simply tell a story. It’s the difference between Tim Burton and The Brothers Quay – and both have their merits. Katzenjammer plays in the dark, just a little, but only because it makes the sun shine all the brighter. Lovely.

Rating: B+

About Kent Conrad

To contact Kent Conrad, email kentc@explodedgoat.com