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.
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.
"Mads Christensen have a deep understanding of this music and it's hard not to be entranced at what they are crafting. Immerse yourself in the magic and prepare to see the potent rock and roll magic of the other side. This is quite possibly the future for us all."
"This album might be your summer album to take to the beach, to dance to, to headbang to, to listen to during your training sessions or just while relaxing in the sun. It is uplifting and very fresh. That might be because each song was recorded in one take, no overthinking, the musicians going in with full force."
"Om du i en feberdrøm inviterer Hüsker Dü, Butthole Surfers, Nine Inch Nails, Bathory og The Stooges på fest? Da får du selvsagt en helvetes jobb med å rydde opp på åstedet etter alle har gått hjem – men lyden kan nok bli nokså lik den vi hører på «5212 Helvete»."
"Bands from Norway seem to have this knack for taking a full kitchen sink worth of rock, punk, and metal influences and turning them into something that’s hook driven but genuinely a bit strange. Mads Christensen is no exception, and if some of the genre and band name dropping earlier doesn’t give it away, this album will have you headbanging and dancing in equal capacity. It’s a little out there, but the sheer amount of variety and catchy hooks along with the concise length make this a strong debut that I suspect I’ll be returning to often."