HUNTSVILLE: For Flowers, Cars And Merry Wars (Hubro Music)


Posted on Jun 6th 2011 01:25 am

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Huntsville: For Flowers, Cars And Merry Wars

For Flowers, Cars And Merry Wars
Hubro Music 2011
04 Tracks. 36mins49secs

Amazon UK: LP | DLD US: LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Huntsville, the trio formed of Ivar Grydeland (guitars), Tonny Kluften (bass) and Ingar Zach (drums and percussions), exist somewhere between jazz and rock, and is fueled by a shared taste for experimentation and improvisation. Over the course of two albums for Rune Grammofon, they have established a style which has led critics to link them to anything from drone to Americana, often in the same breath. With For Flowers, Cars And Merry Wars, the trio move the goal post slightly, but it remains as difficult to pin down as its predecessors.

The trio have collaborated with a number of musicians over the years, from Norwegian jazz singer Sidsel Endresen to Wilco guitarist Nels Cline and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. For this new album, they have teamed up with another Norwegian vocalist, Hanne Hukkelberg, who contributes vocals to the nineteen-minute opening title track. The piece, which occupies the whole of the fist side of the LP, is a sprawling epic which grows from a subtle groove in its first few minutes into a much denser hypnotic section as layers of drones and sounds are progressively brought into the mix. Just before the halfway mark, everything is brought to a standstill, with little more than a drone remaining. The trio soon reactivate some of the textures heard earlier, but the drums remain notable by their absence for some time, and reappear in the distance just long enough to be noticed. The last segment is much more ethereal and devoid of any of the tension which bound the rest of the piece.

Although shorter by over six minutes, Ear/Eye Connector works according to similar principles, building slowly around a central rhythmic section, its various components ebbing and flowing over  the course of the whole piece, but the pace is more sustained, as if Huntsville were aiming at covering as much ground here as on the first track, but were allowing themselves far less time to do so. What remains is the incredible fluidity of the whole thing, which almost unnoticeably changes and evolves through discreet touches all the way through.

The two remaining tracks are much more succinct, For The Working Class, which echoes the title of the band’s debut album, being nothing more than an interlude built around sparse percussions. Star Spangled Pillow is a much sombre composition, centered around intertwined guitar lines, one of them two-toned, with very little else but a few discreet keyboard and drum touches. While minimal in sound, it’s overall aspect is oddly dense and slightly unnerving, as if a storm could be heard developing in the distance, but never actually materialised, leaving a lingering feeling of tension in expectation.

With this latest album, Huntsville continue to create extremely sharp and imaginative sound constructions with a very clear individual sense, but their hypnotic rhythms are now closer to linear krautrock grooves than to rock or jazz ones. For Flowers, Cars And Merry Wars is the sumptuous record of a band which appears to evolve with no boundaries to contain them.


Huntsville | Huntsville (Souncloud) | Hubro Music
Amazon UK: LP | DLD US: LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

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