Argue All You Want

1. Just Can't Stop
2. Like A Heart Attack
3. Too Long At The Fair
4. Birmingham
5. When The Boys Are Back
6. Wings
7. Big Betty
8. Summer Dress
9. Fisherman's Blues
10.Mexico Smile
11.Legend In Your Lunchbox

Terje Kjørlaug (Guitars)
Morten Fredheim (Vocals)
Remi Fagereng (Drums)
Endre Hallre (Bass)




Released 9/12-2011
Reviewed 1/4-2012


Already from the start we get a clear message from the band: journalist may argue all we want but they will still release their album and so on the ninth of December their debut album, called 'Argue All You Want' was released and the Norwegians start the first song with the line "I wish I was a business man - they seem to handle their money well". Maybe a slap in the face to bankers and business men for creating the financial collapse a few years ago? Or a political stand due to the economical differences in the world? I'd say it's neither, Himora feels as far from the socialistic lyrics of the political punk-rock as possible. Besides, they are from Norway, so which economical problems do they have?

I feel the musical roots on 'Argue All You Want' sits in the rock-movement of the 60's, 70's and 80's. My impression is that it's a lot of southern rock in it, mixed with some traditionall rock 'n' roll as well as some tunes of progressive rock. So, a big mix of sources of inspiration then and the real question is wether there is a core target group this album will speak to or if it sprawls a bit too much all over the place. Well, I think this album has an audience - some of the songs are really good regardless of what kind of music you like and other songs are greatly oriented to specific eras of the rock-history and if you're in to that kind of music you'll fall like an apple from a tree for those. Mostly it orients itself to the more bluesy version of rock but there are also a clear direction towards jazz. The guitars have a distortion similar to Chuck Berry and Lonnie Mack and a sound that reminds me of legends like Santana, Hendrix and such despite not being particularly alike. We're not talking photocopying or plagiarism from anyone and overall this is a pretty "normal" rock album with a quite uncomplicated sound, simple melodies and built around the idea of constantly moving forward with the music. This is an album that isn't stopping anywhere, at least not until it has reached the very end.

I think that Too Long At The Fair, When The Boys Are Back and Wings speaks to me the most because they don't overdo that 70's sound that otherwise dominates the album. Morten Fredheim, the vocalist, has a voice that sounds very american in both tone and pronunciation and as the reach Big Betty they really hit that true american sound as well and they stick to it for the next three songs as well. It's a bit like the west coast meets the east, 50% AOR and 50% of the Bon Jovi kind of rock - which almost can be classified as a boy-band sound. Summer Dress also gives us some distinct usage of the cow bell, as does some other songs on this album, and every time I hear the bell I can't help thinking of the Saturday Night Live-skit where they jokes about Blue Öyster Cults Don't Fear The Reaper (I got the fever and the only perscription is more cow bell). And personally I feel a bit extra for Fisherman's Blues where they sing "I got a beautiful girl and her name is Marie - she's a perfect remedy" considering my beautiful girlfriend is called Marie. So, a good one on that, Himora!

Overall I think this is a really good album that's worthy a spin or two in your stereo, it's interesting and clever, fun and somehow familiar but without feeling too alike something else in particular. Sure, you hear a lot of inspiration sources on the the album but not so much that they are stealing songs. It's just, quite simply, an album with nice music in all it's simplicity and somewhat vintage sound and swing. It's like being dragged in to a smokey jazz-clubb in the 60's where the fat african-american musicians plays electric guitars instead of trumpets, doing rock 'n' roll.

Himora is not only the name of this band, it is also the name of an Ethiopian city, on the border of Sudan and Eritrea, so when I say African-American roots, I have some support. But… it is also the name of a planet in Star Wars, so let's not read too much in to the whole "background" story. I have poked around a bit on the Internet for reviews and what seems to be the common opinion is that the music is good but not memorable enough and for once I have to agree with the opinion of most. This album is good and interesting whilst you play it, but when the album is over you don't have too many impressions lasting. Still, a strongly approved album and I'm really looking forward to another Himora album!




Label: Drugstore Records/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: The Wheel/Crossfade/Bad Company
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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