Troldhaugen have completely upped the ante on avant-garde with this latest release, obliterating all traces of their earlier folk-metal aspirations as they embrace all-out weirdness and unpredictability.
idio+syncracies is like Mr Bungle duking it out with Carnival in Coal to see who can be the most bizarre band in the room. Within the space of less than a minute, the first track has veered from a driving if slightly-off kilter metal riff to something approximating some kind of weird vaudevillean nightmare that only gets stranger as it continues. Any ideal of a normal song structure, or, indeed any kind of normality at all, is soon thrown out as Troldhaugen blend metal riffing with circus performance. Songs veer wildly from bursts of guitar violence to jaunty fairground sounds, robot voices, dance beats and wild, stabbing soloing, often all the same chaotically silly track.
And silly they are, with tunes about bike-riding robots, a chicken running for parliament and something to do with taxi drivers. It doesn’t seem to make a lick of sense but it’s hilarious and strange and it works: the jagged rhythms, the stop/start riffs, the weird noises and thoroughly off-kilter arrangements. It may just be a little too avant garde for some, but idio+syncracies is without doubt one of the weirdest and most entertaining releases to have dropped this year.
1. I Wanted a Taxi Driver Not a Taxidermy
2. CRISPr Me Baby One More Time
3. BMX Terminator
4. Mr Troldhaugen on Politics
6. ¡Mambo Mambo! (¿Binko Banko)
7. It’s Morphine Time
8. CALLER UNKNOWN
9. Jaw Drop
10. Mannequin Checks In
11. Genome in a Bottle