“Crap! That’s what that was! A load of bloody crap.”
Those were the words of fictitious band leader Danny Ormondroyd, beautifully portrayed by Peter Postlethwaite in the superb 1996 film Brassed Off. It’s also what I imagine parents up and down the country will be saying, should their offspring choose to blast out Noise & Romance by The Entrepreneurs on a dull Tuesday evening. And what, if anything, would endear you to a band more than your parents, no matter how much you love them, hating them? It’s NOT crap. Far from it, but it certainly takes more than a little perseverance to get used to the wilfully calculated dissonance of the Danish outfit’s skewed atmospherics.
Those buzzsaw guitars, which circle like vultures over opening track ‘Session 1‘ with a real menacing intent, are a mainstay on this 40 odd minutes or so of noise rock, The Entrepreneurs somehow managing to retain a sense of romanticism along the way.
It’s brash and exciting throughout, as evinced by recent single ‘Joaquin‘, which fair thunders along as though White Denim and an early Flaming Lips have been invited to take drugs by Foals and ended up in one almighty fist fight. Much of this, of course, is due to the deceptive, almost off-key vocal delivery of frontman Mathias Bertelsen, an undoubtedly essential ingredient to the dynamic of the trio’s sound.
There is at least some brief respite from the white knuckle hellride, in the form of ‘Be Mine‘, though Bertelsen’s heavy breathing puts paid to any notions of reflective tranquillity, and soon erupts into a cacophony of passive-aggressive splendour. Whatever that is.
The nuance is only mildly disrupted by a wholly unnecessary ‘screamo’ section midway through ‘Heroine‘, which spoils it somewhat as far as I’m concerned, but then, I never COULD get my head around that particular musical juncture.
Still, Noise & Romance is thankfully rescued by its successor, ‘Ages‘, which calls to mind the mesmerising beauty of Avi Buffalo‘s self titled debut album. The bass guitar and rhythm based closer ‘D-Tune‘ was an inspired choice too, simply picked Spanish guitars joining the mix, before one almighty dreamlike breakdown sends us off not entirely sure what it is that our ears have just witnessed.
In short, The Entrepreneurs have created a work that, whilst not perfect, most definitely ensures you’re still thinking about it long after its dying throes have faded.
Noise & Romance is out now on Tambourhinoceros.