25 Apr 2015

MYRESKÆR "Umiddelbart Banalt"

Reviewed by Joseph Murphy

Copenhagen’s MYRESKÆR was formed by Myre Knudsen (of the punk outfit DE HØJE HÆLE) in 2013 and recently debuted "Umiddelbart Banalt" via Octopus Pi Records. Collecting over 40 minutes of alternately raucous garage rock and sweeping folk, "Umiddelbart Banalt" – meaning immediately banal or trite – is a compelling addition to the swell of psych revival bands. However, unlike many of the band’s peers, MYRESKÆR’s brand feels all at once complex, humble, and personal, where other acts fall into the trap of the quick and fun song. Beginning as a solo project, MYRESKÆR relies instead upon the quality of the songs. Now as a full band, the album still values Knudsen’s originals and the lo-fi ideals of early recordings.

The song "Umiddelbart Banal" acts as the album’s centerpiece. Traveling the ground between acoustic arpeggios and expansive sweeping guitars, "Umiddelbart Banal" is a bit of a psych folk epic. Knuden’s voice, throughout, anchors the flux and layers of style. Though MYRESKÆR is a departure from Knudsen’s other project (DE HØJE HÆLE), songs like "Tænker Og Tænker" or "Grønne Gudinde" meet somewhere in the middle, easily combining surf licks with swaggering punk riffs. As a listener who does not speak or understand Danish, there’s something to the language that lends itself well – at least in Knudsen’s case – to communicating emotion and content without requiring true comprehension. You get it somehow. Knudsen’s voice is nuanced and seems to carry with it meaning simply through his dynamic range. No matter your range of languages, MYRESKÆR makes sense; you can hear meaning in it.

The album includes four bonus tracks of early versions of several songs, recorded and performed by Knudsen alone. These lo-fi recordings – reportedly recorded in basements, on cellphones, computers, and 4-tracks – are a surprisingly potent introduction to Knudsen’s vision, even if added as an addendum to the true album. While significantly less layered, the bonus tracks reveal a simple homage to Knudsen’s heroes, which, in the end, act as a backbone to the expanded and full band versions on the release. But, here, more easily, you can pick out elements of Love, The Rolling Stones, Captain Beefheart, and Fairport Convention. MYRESKÆR continues in their tradition remarkably well and marks a strong addition to any updated psych collection.

"Umiddelbart Banalt" is available digitally on the label’s Bandcamp page below. Keep an eye out for the vinyl edition soon.

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