If their debut album Birthday was a triumph of boisterous energy, then the follow up from the punk-pop quartet Pom Poko is even more inescapably riotous.
Cheater is the second album to arrive from the Norwegian group - after their 2019 debut Birthday - which is just as sure to boost your mood as it is to compound your senses. Having established a reputation to date for music which is essentially a glorious mix of frantic and fun, the band have taken that to extremes on Cheater.
Pom Poko are one of those acts that are a joy to witness live: lead singer Ragnhild Fangel is unstoppable on stage, with Martin Miguel Tonne (guitar), Jonas Krøvel (bass) and Ola Djupvik (drums) all combining to produce the sonic equivalent of a firework display that someone accidentally set off all at once. With Cheater, Pom Poko have managed to harness that energy and channel it in a way that, in the band’s own words, results in a “chaotic execution and recording, but also explores the less frantic parts of the Pom Poko universe.”
As witnessed on “Like A Lady” and “Andrew”, off-kilter chords, frenetic percussion and Fangel’s impossibly sweet vocals continue to lead the way on Cheater. There’s hints of the groups jazz background too, on the progressive “Body Level”, and all-out assaults on “Curly Romance” and “My Candidacy”, which are notable for their unrelenting energy.
If you like your music ordered and predictable, then Cheater probably isn’t for you. But if you’re the kind of person who embraces chaos and doesn’t care if the can of fizzy drink has been shaken up before you open it because the resulting sticky mess is just as sweet, then you’ll love this album.