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Dipsomaniacs - Stethoscopic Notion

  by Andrew Carver

published: 21 / 1 / 2002



Dipsomaniacs - Stethoscopic Notion
Label: Camera Obscura
Format: CD

intro

Third long player from Norway’s Dipsomaniacs proves to be "a heady brew of psychedelic pop" and "a direct descendant of The Beatles’ 'Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band' and kin to Cotton Mather’s 'Kontiki' ".


Norway’s Dipsomaniacs serve up a heady brew of psychedelic pop on their third long player, a direct descendant of The Beatles’ 'Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band' and kin to Cotton Mather’s 'Kontiki'. There always seems to be at least a half-dozen things going on in every song, though never to the point of sounding cluttered; the first track, 'Don’t Mourn', begins with guitar, then adds keyboard trills, driving bass, tambourines, vocals and backing vox ... these guys have a multi-track studio, and they aren’t afraid to use it. The four musicians on 'Stethoscopic Notion' are credited with sitar, harmonica, tambourine, singing e-bow, various keyboards, theremin, tablas, sound effects and feedback in addition to the traditional two guitars, bass and drums (a very steady rhythm section anchors the band’s music). Another dozen people provide vocals, such as the very nice ghostly chorus that ends 'Of Reaching Out' and 'Me for One'. Horns and double bass are also used on some tracks. It sometimes sounds like all the instruments are used in the same song — incredibly without the sound turning to mud. This an album made for headphones, one you can spin repeatedly without absorbing everything that’s going on. The varied instruments aren’t just window dressing — these songs would sound great with just a voice and acoustic guitar. Dipsomaniac-in-chief Oyvind Holm is also a  gifted lyricist; he’s one of the very few who can write about romantic tribulations, which appears to be the album’s major theme, without seeming trite in a genre where the cliches usually hunt in packs. He’s particularly strong on the start of songs; standouts in this regard are the piano that introduces 'Me for One' and the wobbling bass that begins the title track, the clear picked tones of 'Dulcimer’s Dream.' 'Stethoscopic Notion' is a sonic smorgasbord no pop or psychedelic fan should be without;  their previous work, 'Braid of Knees' is also highly recommended.



Track Listing:-
1 Don't Mourn
2 Turn Summersaults
3 Feet of Clay
4 Stethoscopic Notion
5 Of Reaching Out
6 Me for One
7 Dulcimer's Dream
8 At Granny Moon's
9 Bring Flowers to the Courthouse
10 Fair-Weather Friend
11 Show Me Every Corner
12 Gum-Machine Gamble



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