With Casiokids‘ third album, Aabenbaringen over aaskammen, the band promised to explore the possibilities afforded to them through numerous production techniques while still retaining “the rawness of the first two records.” With such a precarious balancing act ahead of these talented Norwegians, the question begs: Did they actually achieve their goal?
Yes and no. Throughout the album’s 10 tracks, fans will surely hear bits and pieces of varying sizes from records No. 1 and 2. “Golden Years” is one such offering, a track that represents the band’s infectious, dance-inspired synthpop to a tee. Tracks like “London Zoo” and “Kaskaden”, through differing tempos, offer up more of the same warm, bubbly sounds the band has crafted with lethal efficiency since their debut. Without regurgitating concepts, they’ve built on each energetic bit of noise they’ve ever released in an undeniably incremental fashion.
The second, and arguably more important, element of this album is their dedication to sonic experimentation and exploration. With much of the album sounding like the rest of their catalog, there isn’t enough innovation within the entire affair. The title track is grand and sweeping, a truly organic construct from a band that leans heavily on electronics, but it’s far too simple to sustain anything of real substance. “Det haster!” adds a new layer of grimy toughness to the group’s sound, but it just feels halfhearted and lacks the oomph necessary to really soar. What should be an effort full of daring risks and/or the band stretching their already vast skill set in the studio simply comes off as an LP full of incomplete bits lopped on top of old standby techniques.
Promises aside, the album isn’t a failure by any stretch of the imagination. The end result is enjoyable synthpop with a few flourishes of genuinely inspired moments. As far as any awe-inspiring aabenbaringens go, we may have to wait till album No. 4.
Essential Tracks: “Golden Years”, “Kaskaden”