Moha! – Norwegianism (Rune Grammofon) 2007


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There are a couple of reasons why I was interested in buying this record. The first is that this made The Wire’s avant rock best of list for 2007. The second reason is due to an interesting review I read somewhere or other comparing Moha to a fusion of Lightning Bolt and Wolf Eyes. A comparison like that has even the poorest noise-nerd reaching for their wallets. But after listening to Norwegianism a couple of times I really don’t get the Wolf Eyes comparison. To my ears there is bucket loads of Lightning Bolt but it’s much more choppy and glitchy, almost John Wiese-like in places. I think Lightning Bolt mixed with Black Dice would have been a better description.

I know nothing about this band other than they are a guitar and drum duo from Norway. They make a pretty exceptional racket. The opening track is like free jazz Lightning Bolt. It’s obvious that there is a fair amount of improvisation going on, almost in the spirit of early Boredoms in places. When you think that this record was recorded in a single day and then consider just how hard and fast the drummer is hitting his kit it’s almost enough too make you want to lie down. This is a long way away from the transcendent white noise of Merzbow or the drone of Birchville. This is a great big, fun slice of improv-avant-rock music. If you were partial to John Wiese’s Soft Punk you may want to check this out. It’s not a record you can have on in the background it’s a record that demands (and I might add, deserves) attention.

Live at Bent Crayon Cleveland

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