Bigbang

Edendale

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AllMusic Review by

Developing American rock bands often can be too cool to fit themselves deliberately into pop/rock traditions, preferring to take a noncommercial approach by going lo-fi on their sound or employing odd song structures for that indie cred. Outside the U.S., bands don't necessarily bother with such pretensions, and may even feel that taking a traditional approach is a good thing. Certainly, Norwegian singer/songwriter/guitarist Øystein Greni, who operates under the band name Bigbang, doesn't mind playing in a style strongly reminiscent of classic Anglo-American pop/rock. (Bigbang has had changing personnel. Here, Greni is joined by bass player Nikoli Eilertsen and drummer Olaf Olsen.) Most of the time, he rocks about as hard as the Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham version of Fleetwood Mac, and he no doubt would not be upset at being mentioned in the same sentence with them. The songs on Edendale are full of attractive, prominent guitar parts supported by a propulsive rhythm section, making for melodic pop/rock, over which Greni sings lyrics in which the choruses are never far away. The only slightly uncommercial aspect of the sound is his tenor voice, which might be described as similar to Ray Davies with a slight case of laryngitis; the music seems to suggest a better vocalist, especially when the vocals are mixed up front. Perhaps realizing this, Greni often augments himself with background harmony singing, but his voice remains the weak element in what is otherwise engaging contemporary pop/rock.

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