mon 22/04/2024

Casiokids, Cargo | reviews, news & interviews

Casiokids, Cargo

Casiokids, Cargo

Norway's electropoppers win when they focus on melody

Casiokids: serious about having fun Sjur Pollen

It’s about the bass and the drums. The choirboy high vocals and sugary melodies catch the ear first, but they’d be so much soufflé without the room-shaking, stomach-wobbling bass throb, the Chic-style disco drumming and its tsk-tsk-tsk hi-hat shuffle. Combined, the soft and airy, the propulsive and grounded make the audience move. Not tap a toe, but actually move – dance.

Casiokids need that connection as, despite every other person at this sold-out show being Norwegian, there’s the language barrier. A rarity amongst Norwegian musical exports, Casiokids sing in their native language. There was no need for them to get out their animal costumes or masks, it was enough to bounce and play their songs. And bounce some more.

The show ended with an audience member on stage trying their hand at guitar

Despite coming on the footsteps of the release of their new album, Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen, last night's show wasn't restricted itself to the new. Pretty much the whole span of their catalogue was visited, from 2006’s Fück Midialbum on. Back then, they were hunkered over keyboards, but they’ve evolved into a proper band, with guitar, bass and drums. a-ha were so convinced of Casiokids' potential that they awarded them money in 2010 to fund their international development. Comedian Simon Amstell might not have known that, but he was in the audience.

Their shows used to veer towards the unstructured, with songs becoming amorphous, turning into too-long bloop fests. But just as Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen kept a lid on that, so did this show – even though at the end it dissolved into an arms-aloft communion with the crowd. An audience member was invited on stage to try their hand at guitar while band members swapped instruments and bashed percussion.

Casiokids owe much to the bubblegum end of Krautrock

When they focus on songs, Casiokids are pretty irresistible. Their debt to early acid house and New Order are clear, but what also comes across live is that their fondness for a simple, melodic keyboard line owes much to the bubblegum end of Krautrock, such as Cluster's Zuckerzeit and Kraftwerk's "Kometenmelodie II". “Det Haster!”, “Togens Hule” and “Dresinen” instantly plant themselves in your head. “Grønt Lys I Alle Ledd” chugs along, hybridising new wave, power pop and electro.

However arch Casiokids are, it’s more than compensated for by their sheer bloody infectiousness and pep. There’s no po-facedness about their take on pop. Firing a glitter canon across the crowd meant there hardly could be. Even so, it’s obvious that fun is a serious business for them.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Watch the video for Casiokids’s Finn Bikkjen!”


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