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120 Days - 120 Days

Released on Vice Records, 10/10/06

This is a headphones album. One of those "pop it in your media player of choice and turn it way up" albums. The opening song, “Come Out (Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone), begins with a distant siren, steady heartbeats of drums and slight electrocutions of sound interjected here and there. The beats thicken, the sound swells, and the vocals kick in. It’s classic, timeless, a perfect execution of the slow build electro-dance rock song. 120 Days have successfully combined the worlds of early eighties experimental electronic music with seventies rock and nineties drone -- and it’s actually pretty good!

Okay, okay -- the songs can get a little tedious, repetitive and techno-y. The electronic drums sound false and act as a dead weight at times, constricting the natural ebb and flow of the energetic guitar riffs and wailing vocals. The droning synthesizer lines can, in the longer numbers, muddy the structure up, and the vocals have an unfortunate nineties alternative rock element that really harshes one's mellow after a while. However, these four young lads from Oslo, Norway are onto something. Not just a great execution of the “successful slow build” but a decade spanning combination of style, genre, and sound. Their influences are vast and creep out from each song, even if they don’t have your full attention, 120 Days will pull you back in time and time again.

After wowing the crowd at By:Larm (the equivalent of South By Southwest), they were immediately recruited for both the Redding and Leeds festivals at which point tastemaker media conglomerate Vice Records picked them up and the rest is history. Not a bad ending for four lads from Norway living together in an RV.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars