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Quick Review: TROLLFEST Kaptein Kaos

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Andrew W.K., with his self-help speeches and spontaneous one-man shows, is widely recognized in the mainstream media as the go-to expert when you want to party harder über alles, as if he holds a doctorate in partying sciences issued by some accredited party institute. He’s made partying a career, in a life-affirming, feel-good sort of way. Then there’s Trollfest, who make partying an art form. If you give even a halfassed listen to any Trollfest album, you may soon find yourself shitfaced hungover and dangling by your underpants from the rafters of a trashed gazebo on the beach and have no idea how you got there. But you wouldn’t care. Because what are you going to do that night? The same damn thing.My point is, with each album Trollfest have built up a worldly set of credentials that seems, to the uninitiated, a strange mishmash of styles. Their music has a consistent inconsistency, wandering in and out of genres at will. This is especially true with Kaptein Kaos, which merges Caribbean rhythms, traditional Nordic folk, clean singing, polka, panicked screams, grindcore-inspired blastbeats, lopsided carnival melodies, heavy grooves, oriental instrumentation, and great quantities of beer.

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Surprises include such tracks as "Solskinnsmedisin (Sunshine Medicine)", a tropical coca-cabana fiesta complete with too many margaritas, Caribbean steel drums, and the unforgettable refrain, “I wanna go to the cabana party tonight,” with echoes of . . . Gloria Estefan? It’s true, but it works. Another, "Sagn Om Stein", is reminiscent of the avant-garde swing metal group Diablo Swing Orchestra. I’m drawing strange comparisons here because they’re abundant. I’d expect nothing less from Trollfest. Kaptein Kaos is radically different from previous albums yet entirely consistent with the band’s demented style.

And with album #6, these bizarre Norwegians demonstrate their mastery of . . . I don’t even know what the hell to call it, beer-soaked Afro-Caribbean Nordic party-folk metal? Whatever it is, Kaptein Kaos deserves your attention. If you don’t believe me, the single "Ave Maria" captures the Trollfest spirit perfectly.

Kaptein Kaos is available March 28 from NoiseArt Records.

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