Formed of three friends having one last shot at music after being chewed up and spat out by previous bands, Norwegian post-hardcore trio Spielbergs were met with instant acclaim and curiosity when their first single dropped last year. Could their anticipated debut album turn their fresh start into a happy ending?
Opener ‘Five On It’ lays out their mission statement of scuzzy punk and rousing emo anthemics, before ‘Distant Star’ proves even more of a slave to melody as they holler for that teenage dream of belonging and escapism: “Now we could be perfect, you could have made me better / And we could be soulmates, if we could find a place to live”.
That thrill of skirting between anxiety and triumph at 1000mph is what makes this album such a joy, which is exactly what you’d expect on a single with a name like ‘We Are All Going To Die’. The rumbling racket of ‘NFL’ almost runs the risking of collapsing in on itself – before gracefully blooming into pretty stellar post-rock wig-out – and the snarling ‘Bad Friends’ carries the best of that instant radio punk classic vibe that made the Tony Hawks soundtrack feel like each summer could be your last.
It’s not all blowhard and bluster, mind. ‘Familiar’ has the slow burn and twinkling emo experimentalism of Jimmy Eat World’s ‘Clarity’, and ‘McDonald’s (Please Don’t Fuck Up My Order)’ has elements of Mogwai’s stargazing – translating the anticipation of those pissed-up late night fast food runs into an aching eight-minute epic. We all know how that feels, and finally someone has put it into an adequately profound song. I’m lovin’ it.
“In the beginning when I was young,” pines frontman Mads Baklien on soaring closer and album highlight ‘Forevermore’, “I had the chance to be anyone”. Well, they’ve become something special, alright. A last chance may have just created your new favourite band, and at the very least the most promising debut of the year so far.