CD: Hedvig Mollestad Trio – Shoot! | New music reviews, news & interviews
CD: Hedvig Mollestad Trio – Shoot!
The Nordic metal-jazz nexus
Fusion is a pretty difficult word to deal with. Miles Davis's Bitches Brew might have inspired a raft of jazzers to embrace rock, but an awful lot of the crossover that followed – like prog rock – became the musical equivalent of the love that dare not speak its name. Shoot!, the debut album from Norway’s Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen, might fit that bill, but it’s not that straightforward.
A formally educated guitarist, she was the 2009 Molde International Jazz Festival’s Jazz Talent of the Year. Her work with The Trondheim Jazzorkester and her own Trio Thomassen (whose repertoire includes the standard “The Days of Wine and Roses”) fits what you might expect from that. Shoot!, though, includes a cover of grunge poster boys The Melvins’ 2006 album cut “Blood Witch”. Mollestad Thomassen is also in the punk band VOM. Shoot! is issued by the genre-blurring Rune Grammofon, the home of pyschedelic/jazz/metal outfit Motorpsycho and the furious Hendrix/Albert Ayler collision Scorch Trio. It all means Shoot! couldn't be straightforward.
The mostly instrumental Shoot! (there are a few hollers on “Blood Witch”) is closer to jazz-assisted outfits like The Mars Volta than the fractured rock of The Melvins. But it is grungy in the pre-Nevermind way. Drums have that John Bonham kick and riffs twist. And it’s riffs that Shoot! is built around: primal, monolithic riffs. Each cut strings together different patterns, bringing a welcome texture. Guitar solos are either pure noise or Ornette Coleman let loose on the fretboard. At points, despite Ellen Breken’s identifiably jazzy double bass, this could be Sixties merchants of heaviness Blue Cheer. The snail’s pace, doom-infused first section of “For the Air” is a sibling of very early Black Sabbath. Yet the album closes with the reflective "The Valley". Shoot! is a challenge. It's also perplexing. But it worms its way in.
Watch Hedvig Mollestad Trio performing “The Dead One” from Shoot! at May 2011’s Trondheim Jazz Festival
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
Anglo-Ghanaian rising star of the Afrobeats scene on making a stand for Africa
A disappointing cliché-fest from the LA hard rockers
Intriguing taster gig suggests successful reunion is on the way
One of Britain's most potent, original singer-songerwiters sparks bright
Scottish indie band's misery is appealingly well-groomed
One pair of hands is uppermost in this collaboration
Yet another reappearance of the Nutty Boys’ debut album
Iowan metallers let the masks slip on long-awaited fifth album
French-Cameroonian singer lands on the London scene with delirious spectacle
Less a Rebel Yell, more a middle-aged yawn but still somewhat endearing
Punk pop powerhouse serve it up fast and hot
A two soundtrack album onslaught from original synth-pop pioneer