Gut instinct and spontaneous combustion propel the debut album from Danish trio The Entrepreneurs. Noise & Romance is a smart record that doesn’t outsmart itself, and deploys fury for the fun of it.
In an interview with Nordic Playlist at the Roskilde Festival in 2015, guitarist and lead vocalist Mathias Bertelsen casually suggested that the band’s songs typically took around fifteen minutes to write. “There are no such things as errors” seemed to be something of the band’s motto. Baritone guitarist and backing vocalist Anders Hvass added that having only three members meant they didn’t have a lot of sounds to work with, and so they had to make the most of that limitation.
Listening to Noise & Romance with those old comments in mind shines some light on which of their attitudes have changed and which haven’t. If Bertelsen, Hvass, and drummer Jonas Wetterslev can come up with songs as dynamically complex as the shape-shifting wall-of-fuzz opener “Session 1” or the wistful dream-punk lead single “Joaquin” in a matter of minutes, then they really must have an instant chemistry. One suspects, though, that the storming centerpiece “Heroine” and many others here required more patience to piece together than that.
On the other hand, the group do still appear to firmly believe in overcoming their personnel numbers by throwing everything at a track that they can think of. The studio allowed them to incorporate synthesizers, drum machines and other effects, such as the cold wave mechanics that “Be Mine” builds on. Acoustic guitars come out for a quiet turn at the end with the lovely, straightforward unplugged “Morning Son” and the tinkering disintegration of “D-Tune.”
The lasting rush of The Entrepreneurs’ modern alt-rock bouillabaisse is more about the sum than the parts - though the parts are great, too. The impulsive outpouring of Noise & Romance is reminiscent of Deerhunter and their side projects back in their prolific Microcastle / Weird Era Cont. days; flooded with good ideas and inclined to put them all to use. They haven’t smoothed down the rough edges or settled on a consistent creative vision yet, and that can often be the most rewarding time to catch a band.