TROLDHAUGEN with IDIO+SYNCRASIES, Aug30

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TROLDHAUGEN with IDIO+SYNCRASIES,

Review – Craig Grant

It’s time to take a trip into the disconcerting world of TROLDHAUGEN with IDIO+SYNCRASIES, the latest whackfest from the Wollongong (Australian) band. The puntastic album title is a much less of a mouthful than a previous album, which was,’ Obskure Anekdotez for Maniakal Massez’. On hearing that I had a couple of days off work and considered a switch from metal to KPop as a method of recovery.

The record company define TROLDHAUGEN as a prog-folk-metal outfit. You could throw in other words like manic, experimental, a musical ball of wool or flat out mental. One set of grand parents could be the Tony Font Show and Mr Bungle and the other being FinnTroll and Merzbow. The offspring is a moderately amusing and slightly alarming set of noises that ramble together under a song title. Hold on, I’m being a bit rough there. Some of the song titles are quite funny.

I first came across the band in mid-2014 and immediately thought I had missed something from the Bungles but, on following up, I listened to TROLDHAUGEN and got splattered by a wall of unclean singing that warbled into cabaret territory, while being underpinned by riffing guitar and what appeared to be a thrash xylophone. It was art-schooly, it was a bit annoying but it was never dull.

So fast forward to this new album, due to be released on the public on the 1st of September. The first single released from the album is BMX Terminator because there’s nothing quite like a robot on a bike. That’s not me being all knowing, it’s actually the chorus from the song. A song that also manages to fit in a chugging guitar with a harpsichord solo, which is a nice prog touch.

The album kicks off with I ordered a taxi driver, not a taxidermy and this should serve as a disclaimer for anyone that is looking to take this album as a casual proposition. It’s like the percussion has been achieved by throwing the kit down the stairs while the band moves to match the rhythm. Somehow it all comes together and it’s right in the groove for this band. It’s challenging and goes against everything that you take from the mainstream but stick with it. If you are still in doubt that there is something worthwhile here, then drop the digital needle onto Poultrytician and question if a chicken could really be President. You listened to Mr Bungle back in the day, so surely this isn’t too much of a stretch. Again somehow it just works.

But don’t get cocky kid. Caller Unknown is less than forty seconds that sounds like a kid with a cheap casio keyboard and a 90s modem doing prank calls. P3R5P3C+iV3_M4N sounds like Merzbow on a quiet day.

For all the crap I have written and probably will continue to write about this band I am so happy that they do this. It’s unpredictable, mad and plain strange. Thank you TROLDHAUGEN. I’m not going to suggest that you run out and buy this album but I would suggest that if you like prog or believe that you like a challenge, then give it a go. This band also tours extensively. They toured Europe with Alestorm in 2014 and backed that up with a sold out Australian Tour. They were invited back to Europe to play Summer Breeze Festival in 2015. They’ve toured Australia with Japan’s Vampillia, Finland’s Finntroll and Melbourne’s Toehider, but most impressively, they crowdfunded this release in 24 hours. So they can do it live and its worth your while finding time to check them out.

So if you feel like a walk on the crazy side of the prog landscape, more information about TROLDHAUGEN’S album (Out September 1 through Bird’s Robe) and their tour, can be found at birdsrobe.com or facebook.com/troldhaugen.

Review – Craig Grant

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