Bushman’s Revenge




They suck you in, first – not exactly with sunny daffodils, but certainly they hold off gashing you with sonic thorns. Initially the soundscapes are dark, brooding and slightly dangerous, like spotting labyrinthine climbing roses in the dark, just before you were about to become entangled in them. But while you’re transfixed by the near-miss, the roses move in the breeze, and the music becomes very thorny indeed. Busman’s Revenge are a long-term Norwegian trio consisting of guitarist Even Helte Hemansen, bassist Rune Nergaard and drummer Gard Nilssen (collectively adding keyboards, electronics and percussion).

The delicious title, translating as A Mockery of the Upper Class, reflects the fact that the gothic gloom can have a silvery lining of humour. Even more intriguing is the way relatively sweet-toned, bluesy jazz can metamorphose into post-Hendrix apocalypses of fearful power and bristling imagination, to the extent that it’s hard to think of a more distinctive guitar-based trio. This also signals what a golden era the Hubro label is enjoying, with stunning simultaneous releases from bassist Matts Eilertsen and from saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts (with Jim Black and Nels Cline).