The Megaphonic Thrift

The Megaphonic Thrift

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Featuring various members of Young Dreams, Low Frequency in Stereo, and Casiokids, Bergen-based quartet the Megaphonic Thrift fall under the rather niche category of the Norwegian noise pop supergroup. Like most of their respective day-job outfits, there are traces of the usual suspects everywhere, from the My Bloody Valentine-esque bittersweet shoegaze of "Moonstruck," to the Pixies-inspired sludge rock of "Fire Walk with Everyone," to the pummeling Sonic Youth-ish distortion that kicks off the psychedelic-tinged opener, "Tune Your Mind." Undeniably more aggressive than their 2011 debut, Decay Decoy, it's an often intense listen, but while the propulsive fuzz-laden "Raising Flags" and the sinister "The Guillotine" manage to combine an adrenaline-charged wall of sound with appealing slow-burning melodies, the stodgy space rock of "Over the Mountain, Down in a Teaspoon" and the meandering prog of "Kill, Breathe and Frown" are simply tedious drones. Luckily, there are moments of light relief, most of which appear courtesy of bassist Linn Frøkedal's enchanting tones, which gel surprising well with the gruff post-punk vocals of frontman Richard Myklebust on the likes of the appropriately titled closer "Spaced Out" and the avant-garde pop of "Broken Glass, Yellow Fingers," while the eerie acoustic melancholy of "I Wanted You to Know" and the uncharacteristically upbeat "Swan Song" show they're not immune to the odd infectious hook. The Megaphonic Thrift largely avoid falling into the same self-indulgence trap that blights many all-star side projects, but they aren't quite engaging enough to suggest the hobby should become full-time.

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