Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Norway’s Casiokids debut U.S. album Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar is made up of the kind of bubbling, relentlessly upbeat danceable indie pop that might scare off people who hate feeling giddy, but will bring happiness to all those who prefer to dance with big, goofy grins on their faces. Or in animal costumes. The record is made up one disc of songs the band previously released as singles and one disc of remixes. The second disc is a nice bonus, with artists like Lo-Fi-Fink and Captain Credible ramping up the songs for maximum dancefloor impact. It also features Casiokids versions of songs by James Yulli and Familjen, the former a sweet ballad, the latter a percolating jam that could fill a dancefloor in seconds. Where the real thrills are, though, is on the first disc. It’s an often stunning example of a band that’s mastered the ability to craft songs made for dancing but with enough melody and imagination to stand alone as perfectly sculpted pop gems. The songs are built around cheap bubbling synths, propulsive beats, and Ketil Kinden Endresen's gorgeous (sung in Norwegian) falsetto vocals, and draw from classic house, dance-punk, and disco influences, yet remain wonderfully ramshackle and inauthentic. An easy to make comparison would be to say Casiokids are Hot Chip but with Jónsi of Sigur Rós on vocals -- more like early Hot Chip when they were still a bit goofy and fun, though, not the current model. Also, Endresen's vocals never veer toward pretension; they are far too light for that. To this basic template Casiokids add guitars, indie pop sweet melodies, and a breezy attitude, and come up with a sound that is more unique than that easy comparison might imply. Who cares how original a band may be when the bandmembers write songs as good as "Finn Bikkjen" and "En Vill Hest"? Practically any song on the album would be the centerpiece of a sunshiny summer dance pop mix, and what better praise could there be than that? Casiokids may grow up and get serious someday, but until then their innocent and happy brand of pop will do just fine for warming hearts and filling dancefloors.

blue highlight denotes track pick