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In Muziek > Algemeen > Airbag (voor liefhebbers van Pink Floyd/Anathema/Porcupine Tree etc.):

Deze band begint in bepaalde kringen zo langzamerhand een aardige hype te worden. Alleen nog maar zeer positieve recensies gelezen ook. Des te vreemder dus dat er op MM nog niets over ze te vinden valt...

echt heeeerlijke muziek

Airbag deploys impressive arsenal of songs in debut album

Norwegian quintet Airbag prove maturity's not an age thing.

The music of Norwegian band Airbag has been described as chilled-out progressive rock--sort of like Pink Floyd meets Radiohead, but with a whole lot less to complain about or prove. And while it's true the band got its start playing Floyd covers, and that their very name is taken from track one of Radiohead's OK Computer, that's where the similarities end. Because Airbag has gone and done something that Pink Floyd (by virtue of the fact they're no longer together) and Radiohead haven't done in years--they've made a great album.

Identity, the band's first album from Karisma Records, is an impressive debut positively dripping with gorgeous melodies, and laced with a pinch of melancholia that ought to make even the most fast-forward thinking of busy backson listeners stop and stare awhile. Those searching for the next big boy-band to satisfy the demands of poor taste and vacuous minds are advised to look elsewhere. Those longing to discover a band of substance need look no further. And those aching to discover the next great soundtrack to a perfectly cloudy day may soon find Identity taking up permanent residence next to The Cure's Disintegration and Pink Floyd's Ummagumma on the all-too short list of great rainy weather albums.

Identity's opening track, the appropriately titled "Prelude", is a mood-setting instrumental piece that gives hint to the band's beginnings as a Floyd cover band with its slow, creeping emergence. The soothing rhythm of a ticking clock is gradually enveloped by the eerily atmospheric keyboards of Jorgen Hagen, as the song coalesces into a rich and dreamy soundscape carried by the skillful and patient electric guitar of Bjorn Riis. At times on this album Riis gives the impression of an artist adding flourishes of color to a completed canvas. At other times he's the backbone of the band, riffing and arpeggiating with an ear as keen for melody as an artist's eye is for perspective.

As sure as Riis is the star of Airbag, Hagen is the unsung hero--utilizing his subtle prowess behind 88 keys to not only add breadth to every composition, but to also decorate the silences with a ghostlike ambience you sometimes have to listen hard for in order to fully appreciate. It isn't until the second song, the toe-tap-inducing "No Escape", that the band's rhythm section (comprised of Joachim Slikker on drums and Anders Hovdan on bass) really get to make their presence known. But like any rhythm section worth their salt, Slikker and Hovdan are never over the top. As further example of this young band's impressive musical maturity, they seem to get what a whole lot of drummers and a whole lot of bassists never do--that the value of their work is made better by understatement; that sometimes in music, what you feel is more important than what you hear.

There's actually a lot of musical maturity on display throughout the album, something unexpected for a band so young that you wouldn't begrudge them an obligatory and brainless radioplay-begging pop tune. The fact that instead the band strives for substance over flash is all the more impressive. More so, it's endearing.

But wait, there's more. Airbag also has a talented singer in its employ, a guy by the name of Asle Tostrup whose vocal work serves to further distance Airbag from the Floyd/Radiohead comparisons. Tostrup's voice is far from perfect. But who wants that anymore, in a day and age where pitch-perfect performances can be so easily manufactured? Tostrup has a voice that's endowed with feeling, and delivered with a kind of cumbersome grace more often reserved for crooners than frontmen. He gives the impression that every syllable sung is coming straight from a place sadly not known to a lot of singers. Let me put it to you this way: if I had a penny for every time I heard a singer deliver from the heart and not the lungs, I'd be just a few cents shy of a quarter, and no more.

The songs that make up the whole of Identity work like individual pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. All are perfectly suited to the following, each equally vital to the position of the next and ultimately indispensable. In this matter, Airbag has handily accomplished one of the more difficult challenges bands face in trying to make the perfect debut album. As Bob Seger once posed: "What to leave in? What to leave out?"

Fans of the band who have been following their career for the last 5 years, through several EP releases and various one-off experiments (all of which have been made available on the band's website for free download), may take issue with the conspicuous absence from Identity of some old pre-record deal favorites, but they don't call an old adage an old adage for nothing. And while there's no pleasing everyone, Airbag has delivered a fine debut album that ought to please a bunch of them.

kan ik me helemaal in vinden deze review!

zo hij is eindelijk toegevoegd, vond hem blijkbaar toch niet goed genoeg om het zelf te doen

avatar van Broem
Vanavond een perfect optreden gezien van Airbag in de Cacaofabriek te Helmond. Een mooie nieuwe concertlocatie in de voormalige chocoladefabriek. Integraal werd het laatste album "THE Greatest Show on Earth" gespeeld en nummers van beide voorgaande albums. Wat een band. Perfecte sound en dito uitvoering. Geen minder nummer gehoord. Deze band heeft echt potentie. 3 perfecte albums achter elkaar. Waar blijft die doorbraak! Viel me trouwens op dat de zanger beter zong dan 2 jaar geleden. Ook de hoge uithalen waren geen probleem.

avatar van Broem
Afgelopen weekend een mooi optreden van Björn Riis en z’n band gezien en gehoord. Fraaie show waarin het weergaloze gitaarspel van Björn centraal stond. Uiteraard enkele Airbag nummers en DE aankondiging dat er voor de zomer van 2020 een nieuw Airbag album aankomt. Nice.

geplaatst: vandaag om 12:40 uur

geplaatst: vandaag om 12:40 uur

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