MIC's Listen to Norway series continues with Skambankt's self-titled debut album
Remember the movie Fight Club? -The one about advantageous effects of providing a confined outlet for male aggression?
The Norwegian band Skambankt is something resembling a musical manifestation of the same idea. For, (hopefully at least) all the aggression slung out by this band, all the volleys of hatred against hatred, is really just an exercise of screaming at oneself; aggression for the sake of aggression, because it’s fun and feels good and vitalizing.
The genre is punk; a hard, insisting almost robotic kind of punk, made to be listened to as loud as you dare. And it is indeed a somewhat intimidating experience to crank up Skambankt, for this record features no repose from the noise and anger.
Thankfully the lyrics prove to contain lavish doses of irony, and this irony, which revolves around the idea of anger towards anger (ad absurdum), is rather smartly draped in blood red communist aesthetics. Not the chic Latin American kind that invokes the humanism of socialist thought, but rather the industrial mercilessness that distinguished the Bolsheviks and Maoists in their awesome way of conducting politics and war.
The result is a package that has tonnes of immediate appeal in terms of both attitude and aesthetics, and the record is something one feels an urge to surrender to, for it tickles very effectively our subdued longing towards marching and screaming and setting “it all” ablaze (for the sake of good of course..)
Thus it has a distinctly cathartic effect on the listener and has become a favourite among many. -Not just in Norway but also in countries where the fans have no conception of the Norwegian lyrics, but appreciate, perhaps even more, the sentiment in the singing, or shouting itself, conducted as it is, in a western dialect that seems to fit the subject matter of revolutions and Russian roulette especially well.