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Finjarn & Jensen

Finjarn & Jensen

(Shadoks; US: 13 Apr 2010; UK: 1 Mar 2010)

When the appropriately named Norwegian heavy rock group Jumbo split during recording sessions for their debut album in 1970, the band’s co-founders, Svein Finjarn (guitar/vocals) and Leif Jensen (drums/vocals), were left to pick up the pieces.  The result of this one-off collaboration was Finjarn & Jensen, a rare peak at the more progressive end of the Scandinavian rock scene. Littered with stereo-effect trickery and heavily indebted to the myriad sounds of British psychedelia, the duo’s seven-track LP is a grab bag of late ‘60s devices and decorations that show perfectly well where they’re coming from, but with no real sense of where they’re heading. There are three very fine hard rock ‘n’ boogie numbers that bring to mind supergroup Humble Pie, of which “Sorry Girl, But I Know Things Will Be Much Better Now You’ve Gone” is the best, and a pleasant enough side-trip into the magical land of Syd’s Pink Floyd on “Blue and Peaceful”. However, the rest of the album is bogged down by ponderous drum solos that stretch songs beyond the breaking point, while “Lady Windsor” is a risible piece of Toytown psych-pop that totally lacks the deft songwriting touch of, say, the Idle Race.

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