The Megaphonic Thrift may sound like a range of vibrators that could be found in your local sex store, but they are actually a bunch of Norwegians in a band who are also members of Casiokids, The Low Frequency in Stereo and Stereo 21.
Opener Acid Blues conjures up some rather wretched images based on its name alone, but is thankfully positively misleading. Instead of the sprawling and bloviated mass of obtuse noise you may expect, you get 2:38 of something that could literally be lifted straight from a Sonic Youth or Dinosaur Jr LP. The odd thing is, despite it being beyond derivative, there feels something invigorating in its delivery. It feels fresh and so, although it shares more than a few similarities, it does result in homage rather than pastiche. Exploding Eyes continues in the same manner, the vocals strangely sitting directly in between Thurston Moore’s and Kim Gordon’s. The pop undercurrent ravages through the song almost as ferociously as the delivery, and the sparse melodies that echo in the background are pure My Bloody Valentine.
Just when you think things are heading down a one track path, the road forks and we have Everytime (Oxygen), a slow lamenting acoustic number that oddly enough resembles the baritone creak of Willy Mason - remember him? It’s a much needed and welcome departure that opens up the EP to a sense of diversity. Thankfully the following number, Mad Mary, also adds a sense of depth and texture to the EP; a subtle, enchanting nod to Built To Spill or even Yo La Tengo, it encompasses that fuzzy guitar that somehow remains simplistically and sweetly melodic the whole way. The EP has gone from guns blazing to modest understatement in just a couple of songs - it’s a pleasure to be taken on such a journey in such a short space of time. Mad Mary then bursts into flames and reignites the EP before the song dies.
Son of J then continues with a ferocious blast of garage punk, again seeping '90s US alt from every orifice, but done with an intensity and conviction that really allows the listener to connect rather than turn their nose up. The EP is a gust of fresh air and a discharge of both sonic annihilation and reservation. It is revitalising and stirring to hear an EP that is as thought out and relaxed as it is full-throttle and cacophonic. A lesson in introvert intensity from the Norwegians' debut.