It could well be my ears decieving me, or it could well be a slightly overactive Norwegian-to-English similarity detector, but in "Auksjon (I Dieter Meyers Hall)", I could swear there's a chant of 'Who's your daddy?'. By the time that track rolls around, you'll probably be answering with the name of this band.
is the third Kaizer's Orchestra album, and it's both a natural progression from and a continuation of the sound they've established since their debut - Norwegian folk, storming hard rock, gritty blues that sounds more fjord than delta, and pretty much anything else they feel like throwing in at the time ("Senor Flamingos Adieu" is a Western soundtrack, "Deiter Meyers Inst" is a Parisian Elliott Smith, this little piggy called "Blitzregn Baby" rides a Dick Dale surf guitar all the way home, and "Pa Ditt Skift" borrows Iron Maiden's penchant for harmonized lead guitar). The end result, as always, sounds more like Tom Waits than anything else, but this is far from a carbon copy. Kaizer's Orchestra remain a refreshing surprise for anyone disenchanted by the labelling of acts such as The Futureheads and John Legend as 'unique'.
The title track, "Maestro", is without a doubt the funkiest thing the band have yet composed, and is their best song to date. The lead guitar can't quite decide whether it wants the song to be a kid's pop song or a middle Eastern shanty. Then, in the chorus, it burst into life, re-invented into a glam stomper, with trade-offs between throat-shredding vocals facing up to a taunting, bitchy retort. Stunning. It'll be Spat Out Plath's favourite song when he hears it.
Elsewhere, drums clatter, rhythms bounce, backing vocals coo, banjos, basslines pump, accordions, and the kitchen sink vie for attention, and there's not a moment that isn't gripping, nor a song that lets the side down. Truly, it's a powerhouse of an album, delivered by a band who are clearly arrogant enough to know just how damn good they are, and driven enough to want to be better.
Every bit the equal of their most acclaimed release, Ompa Til Du Dor
, this confirms Kaizer's Orchestra's status as a swaggering, driving behemoth in leftfield rock music, and quite possibly, the world's coolest band.