"This next song is about a very popular sport in Norway that we hope to get in the Olympics. We hear it’s popular in New York too. It’s called ‘Gloryhole’" — Kristian Stockhaus, singer/guitarist, Ungdomskulen.
On Friday, a friend was asking if I was going to see Ungdomdkulen this weekend. I said "who are they?" She said "Norwegian metal." No thanks. But then I was in the neighborhood on Sunday night, having gone to see The World Without Magic at Mercury Lounge. I didn’t have to work Monday, so I thought "why not?" I’m not a fan of the genre in any way (unlike my downstairs neighbor, Pat) but I do like that Of Montreal song where Kevin Barnes talks about "the darkness of black metal bands."
Ungdomskulen are not black metal. Or even just metal. They’re kind of punk, in a Les Savvy Fav kind of way, though less nutty. But a lot of fun. I think they want to be a black metal band, and like that stuff, but are just sort of goofing on it. The ’80s sweaters and furry hat was a giveaway. Also: no unecessary umlauts. Or screaming. Not that they would deny not being a black metal band. They do, however, rock. And I liked them way more than I ever expected to.
The crowd at Cake Shop was small, due probably to the frigid temperature on Sunday, was nonetheless enthusiastic. The drummer lost his shirt after the first song. We got most of their album Cry-Baby, which I bought after the show. The best song, I’m pretty sure, was somewhat relentless "Modern Drummer," and show-closer "Spartacus," which ended in balloons and stage-rushing. I rushed into a taxi right after.
Here’s some footage of "Spartacus," though my camera ran out of memory before the song ended:
And you too can rock Norway-style. Tourdates…
Jan 22 O´Briens Allston, Massachusetts
Jan 23 AS220 Providence, Rhode Island
Jan 24 The Nines Ithaca, New York
Jan 25 Lee´s Palace Toronto, Ontario
Jan 26 The Pike Room Pontiac, Michigan
Jan 27 Grog Shop Cleveland, Ohio
Jan 28 Jammin Java Vienna, Virginia
Jan 29 The M Room Philladelphia, Pennsylvania
Jan 30 Tea Bazaar Charlottesville, Virginia
Jan 31 The Earl Atlanta, Georgia
Feb 1 Tasty World Athens, Georgia
Feb 2 Yau House Charlotte, NC
Feb 4 The Viper Room Hollywood, California
Feb 6 SPACELAND Los Angeles, California