Originally Panzerpappa started as a solo project of the Norwegian drummer Trond Gjellum. So far the band released two independent CD-R’s; “… passer gullfisk” (2000) and “Hulemysteriet” (2002). The current line up who has played together since 2002 has now released this “Farlig Vandring” (“Hazardous Hiking”) on their own label Avant Audio Production.
Steinar Børve – keyboards and saxophones; Trond Gjellum – Drums, percussion and electronics; Andres K. Krabberød – electric bass guitar and Chapman Stick; Jarle G. Storløkken – electric and acoustic guitars.
In “Farlig vandring (på tynt vann)” (Hazardous hiking (on thin water)) Steinar Børve at one point uses the saxophone to play the melody lines and the music sounds in the vain of a band like Bill Bruford’s Earthworks. But in the same track he is playing the Mellotron accompanied by the electric guitar of Jarle G. Storløkken. At that moment some elements of the progressive rock of the seventies is shinning thru the music. Combine this with classical and melodic avant garde influences and you can maybe imagine a little bit how Panzerpappa is sounding. I think you could also label the band under the Rock In Opposition (RIO) movement. This remark also indicates that the music can’t be labeled (reviewers always search for labels to explain the music they hear to the readers of their reviews). “Ellipsoidisk karusell” (Ellipsoidic Merry-Go-Round) is also a meltingpot of jazz, avant garde and progressive rock influences. The other pieces are called “Utrygge trøfler” (Troubling truffles), “Agraphia”, “Sykkelgnomflåtten” (The bicycle gnome bug) and “Ompapaomompapa” (Uhmpahpahuhmuhmpahpah). “Agraphia” is a more relaxed song with marimba and melodic saxophone melodies. But in the middle of this track you find a delicious outburst with Mellotron. I like the combination of the jazzy arrangements with the Mellotron as you can hear in “Sykkelgnomflåtten”. The closing section of the last track “Ompapaomompapa” has progressive rock influences again in the form of melodic electric guitar on a bed of Mellotron waves.
“Farlig vandring” is a good album from a talented Norwegian band. The recording is very transparent so you can hear each instrument very well. For me the big surprise was the combination of the jazzy arrangements with the Mellotron. This works very well. And I can find myself in their own definition of their music: “avant rock with a human face”.