Featuring members who have a long history in the Norwegian music scene with bands like BLOOD COMMAND and PYBANEN, MADS CHRISTENSEN is a dark spark of rock ‘n’ roll aesthetics shot through with the energy and urgency of punk. Their sound is moody but always moving, jabbing and feinting, offering twists at every turn yet somehow sounding like the same band each step of the way. Not for nothing is their debut album titled 5212 Helvete: indeed is this the address of a very real – and very surreal – place, and getting there is its own reward. Or its own damnation…Mads Christensen leave it up to you.
For their part, Mads Christensen name a varied and idiosyncratic list of influences which range the Butthole Surfers, Prince, The Spits, and Darkthrone’s FOAD album. Across their album’s succinct-yet-winding 33-minute runtime, the eight songs comprising 5212 Helvete show those influences in deranged and bedraggled form, their throb of black-as-pitch mondo-rock or post-punk or proto-kraut keeping the listener on their toes, but we can also list the likes of Afghan Whigs, Joyless, The Stooges, and maybe even Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. And of course, the spectre of the beloved Blood Command looms equally large here.
“We wanted to make some hard and raw songs that would be cool to listen to while you’re high,” the band state, most accurately and pithily. “No triggered drums and no click-tracks, and one take to keep it spontaneous.”
Whatever you want to call Mads Christensen in general and 5212 Helvete in particular, there’s no arguing with its swift & sweeping sense of devilish fun. The Devil may not care and nor do they, but here do you have eight anthems-in-the-waiting as you begin the journey to namesake destination.