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Spielbergs - Vestli (Album Review)

Wednesday, 24 August 2022 Written by Craig Howieson

Photo: Johan Malvik

Spielbergs’ cataclysmic debut ‘This Is Not The End’ was crammed to the rafters with nostalgic teenage angst delivered by men comfortably in their 30s. It was a record that celebrated the youthful pursuit of something better, something bigger, whatever that might be. 

It was also stuffed with some of the finest guitar anthems of recent times, a true heavyweight that delivered powerhouse rock blow after powerhouse rock blow, drawing on elements of shoegaze, grunge and pop-punk to keep them interesting. 

Three years on, with the release of their second record ‘Vestli’, the Norwegians’ musical palette remains unchanged, but instead of longing for escape, they are on the outside looking in at what confines them. This is an album about the trappings of getting older, detailing the pain felt when the lives we have to lead weigh on us. 

Despite the more introspective tone of the lyrics, the band still comes out swinging. The high octane opening riff of Go! brings to mind the theatrical pace of Cloud Nothings, while When They Come For Me is a great reminder of how singer Mads Baklien can incite a crowd-surging singalong from the moment he opens his mouth. 

It can be hard to define what makes a great rock band. Often it is reduced to the old cliche of those who ‘mean it’. That seems pertinent here, though. Every track on ‘Vestli’ feels lived in, each one an insight to Balkien’s fears and frustrations, with the enormity of the music the only fitting way to put across what he is feeling.

On ‘Vestli’, Spielbergs once again excel when they let themselves go. The album's curtain call You Can Be Yourself With Me opens like an unearthed MTV Unplugged classic, only to explode and shoot off in myriad directions at the same time. Even at a running time of close to eight minutes you are still left hoping it won’t come to an end.

The band may have taken a step back to get some perspective on ‘Vestli’ but they certainly haven’t dropped a weight class. Still hitting as hard as ever, they stand eye to eye with the onslaught of time. After all, there is no growing old gracefully, and sometimes you just have to lay it all out there. No remorse, no regrets.

Spielbergs Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu September 22 2022 - NORWICH Voodoo Daddy's Showroom
Fri September 23 2022 - LEEDS Hyde Park Book Club
Sat September 24 2022 - GLASGOW Hug and Pint
Mon September 26 2022 - SOUTHAMPTON Heartbreakers
Tue September 27 2022 - BRIGHTON Prince Albert
Wed September 28 2022 - BRISTOL Lanes
Fri September 30 2022 - MANCHESTER 33 Oldham Street
Sat October 01 2022 - LONDON Old Blue Last

Compare & Buy Spielbergs Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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