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Puma: Half Nelson Courtship

Reviewed By: Adrian Huggins
Label: Rune Grammofon
Format: CD

'Half Nelson Courship' is the experimental Norwegian band Puma's third album. Having become increasingly popular in recent years, it really sounds like the band are coming together and are excelling with their own sound and ideas.

With it’s mystical and fascinating history. it isn’t surprising that Norway seems to be churning out a whole host of free thinking and innovative experimental musicians and bands that are really pushing things. Puma are considered to be well and truly at the forefront of this movement. Having both studied at the renowned Trondheim jazz conservatory, members Oystein Moen and Gard Nilssen are both incredibly talented musicians that are only helping to add to the reputation of this institution. The completing member of Puma, Stian Westerhus is thought of as one of the most exciting guitarists on the Norwegian scene and is also well known and respected for his work with the Monolothic Duo who he co-founded with drummer Kenneth Kapstad of the infamous Motorpsycho.

Not as straightforward as Motorpsyco, but just as epic the three piece make utter masterpieces that break free of their labels and with a cacophony of drums and guitars make a gently ferocious sound that has the heart of a beast but one that will destroy all in its path if duty calls it to.

Going from sheer ambience early in the album to the more dramatic moments like ‘Innamorati Osculati’ and ‘Knitstep’ Half Nelson Courtship covers an immenser arnge. It is at times almost industrial without being over powering and also ambient without being boring. In this instance with patientc and an open mind true innovation wins through.

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