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"Team Me EP"

Team Me – Team Me EP
04 May 2011, 09:20 Written by Sharon Kean

Hotly tipped happy young things Team Me have channeled their infinite excitement and enthusiasm for life into a five-track taster EP that contains every part of the perfect sunny afternoon in a park soundtrack.

Ahead of a full length album that is expected in the autumn, the Norwegian six-piece have expertly combined some of the orchestral grandeur of Arcade Fire with the summer-friendly sounds of bands such as Acid House Kings and Architecture In Helsinki, to whip up a smile-inducing frenzy of good feeling. ’Weathervanes and Chemicals’ is an impressive opener with its strings and bellowed chorus vocals bursting from the ends of the verses like irrepressible shots of fun. The multi-instrumental adventure extends to some interesting vintage Nintendo Gameboy Tetris sound effects which serve to amplify the childish smiles that this tune invokes. By a stroke of retro genius ‘Weathervanes and Chemicals’ is backed up by a highly addictive online 1980s-style computer game-cum-music video, which challenges listeners to complete a Super Mario-esque platform pursuit before the end of the track.

On the self-titled EP this song is majestically followed by ‘Come Down’ which gallops along like a mighty horse as cymbals crash and strings assertively lead the way, transforming lead man Marius D. Hagen’s songwriting into a stereo frenzy. Band mate Synne Knudsen adds vocals to make the male-female chanting remeniscent of early Broken Social Scene records, although Team Me are more immediately catchy and accessible, shattering any Norwegian black metal stereotypes and keeping at arm’s length the less playful sounds more traditionally associated with the band’s homeland.

‘Dear Sister’ slows the pace slightly with a more reflective tone in the middle of an action-packed EP which breathlessly touts itself as a candidate for sound of the summer. It’s hard to imagine Team Me being capable of writing a sad song, which proves true on their dreamy documentation of a break-up – ‘Me and the Mountain’ – with its soaring vocal harmony chorus and school choir chants of “Things are bad enough as they are”. The whole thing feels more like a euphoric Polyphonic Spree hymn than the brooding lyrics might suggest.

Final track ‘Kennedy Street’ is a slower more stripped down affair that winds down somewhat after the twee excitability of the preceding four tracks and gives Marius D. Hagen’s voice centre stage, adding a pensive note as the band conclude their first release.

With British summertime threatening to break through at any time it would have been wrong to have waited until autumn for a Team Me record. And, if this EP is a reflection of things to come then what better way to spend the hot months than by enjoying the sound of Norwegian summer and getting excited about what Team Me will come up with next.

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