Cometh December the media start producing their lists of the terminating year’s foremost achievements. And this week every Norwegian daily newspaper was featureing their album-of-the-year list. These are lists published with much fanfare and self-importance on behalf of the critics whose meticulous scrutiny we are to enjoy the fruits of. The importance ascribed to these polls makes this year’s degree of concord all the more significant.
The definite victor is the trance-inducing electro-rock ensemble 120 Days. These guys have not only made the best Norwegian album of the year –topping that list in several papers- but more importantly they also reached first place in the critics' collective vote on best international album. This latter poll -undertaken by the daily Dagsavisen- is based on the collective judgement of 65 music critics; i.e. the entire Norwegian establishment (more or less). Not since 1993 has this evaluation featured a Norwegian winner and for 120 Days it is unequivocal ascertainment that they are presently peerless in their home country.
But it is not just in Norway that this band is currently among the hottest. After the October release of their eponymous album in the US, rave reviews have recently begun pouring in. Hugely influential Pitchfork media writes that “These guys go big on everything. They exude audacity. A first-order phenomenon, with its own heat and light,”
Rolling Stone Magazine ends its review of the single “Sleeping Lessons” with a simple “More please”, while Filter calls the record “a post-punk, post-rave, post-pre-Armageddon masterpiece of sleazy, chaos-worshipping rock.”
Back home from a successful US tour (under the auspices of their label Vice Records) 120 Days can expect nice presents from Santa, for they have been very good boys indeed, at least from a musical point of view.
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