Closing out a trilogy that has touched on biblical incest to erotic (ahem) arts and now the dark fallout of it all, Norwegians Årabrot have returned with the new EP, You Bunch of Idiots. This thing plays out like some extremely dark comedic spaghetti western set in a backdrop of a nuclear fallout threat. All of their past brash and noisy trademarks are here, but this time out the focus is more on a rock-based delivery.
We kick off with “Cannibal Manifesto,” which is simply mastermind Kjetil Nernes on a soapbox giving a sermon to an unknown audience about gods, money, death and a piece of ass. (Yep, you read that right.) It’s just a touch over three minutes long, and after a couple times through I find it humorous and infectious at the same time, particularly with the sermon lines that echo multiple times to drive his point home. On top of that, look at that cover art! I’m not sure if dark comedy was the intent but it sure feels like one.
“Time to Pull the Sticks” is an anthemic, huge-sounding rocker, while “Mea Culpa” goes for the jugular with some melodic vocal hooks and a driving, start-stop guitar and bass line. Then we get to “Celebration” and “It’s Hot Drop It,” which are the kind of dark doomsday tracks that the band cut their teeth on. To me, these two tracks are where the EP shines the brightest, even though they are dark, unpredictable and industrial in their chemistry.
All told, the EP’s six tracks of music, preaching and even metallic feedback noise all go by in a quick 19 minutes. It puts a perfect exclamation mark on the trilogy and makes you scratch your head a little at what you’ve just heard. For a band that’s always stayed outside the conventional lines, this is undoubtedly a good thing. In the end, you have to applaud Nernes for coming back strong from throat cancer and creating such a beastly sound with his vocals. It’s hard to imagine this thing being the success that it is with him in anything less than top form; fortunately, he’s more than silenced any questions on that front.