BASTARD – Kan’kje

BASTARD - Kan'kje
  • 6/10
    BASTARD - Kan'kje - 6/10


Release date: November 3, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Sometimes, one has to judge an album purely on the contents. That is the case when an album arrives which one can hardly say anything about because the words of lyrics, website and label site is solely in a language unknown to the listener. That is the case here, as Norwegian is not the most common language, and bar any band info, the album Kan’kje has to stand to the most part on its own.

Anyway, here is what could be scraped together from various sources, especially the band page. Bastard existed since 1992, and during the Nineties the band released three albums and one DVD. What happened, and how it came that after almost a decade of silence a new album arrives, remains a mystery. Also why the band re-recorded several songs from their debut album for a label called Slagerfabrikken, which has a strange feel about it. A plant that puts out mainstream songs? Or successful songs, but not in a Metal intonation? Oh oh…

But what it comes down to is the music anyway. And that is an international language we all understand adequately. So, Bastard, speak to us; first of all, the style is rather mellow. Bastard play Rock of the very melodic kind, always incorporating enough guitar to make it suitable to be reviewed here, but still not heavier than old Europe or average AOR. Often the riffing is everything but original, but effective. The opening track “Yes” has an AC/DC guitar feel, while the melodic refrain would make it fittingly for mainstream radio, especially as the keyboard mellows it considerably.

Following is another AC/DC like rocker called “Sengevaetar” that turns out to be about as heavy as Suzi Quatro and repels with a cheesy “oooh-oooh” part. The next track’s beginning sounds incredibly like Bob Catley and Gary Hughes did on the Middle Earth album, somehow recorded by the (sober!) Viking choir of Stavanger. That is actually quite good, at least if one does not expect Metal too much. Because this song let’s you sway rhythmically, not in the “German Gemütlichkeit” way, but nonetheless in a folky, top ten radio track way. Cool, but nothing one wants to listen to often. Fortunately, almost all songs tend to be no longer than necessary. If that is in order to be playable on the radio or because the band felt it was more suitable to the tracks – which it is – is unknown.

Track four is called “Bein Harald”. Well, Harald is a name, so this probably means “At Harald’s” or something like this. This was the opening song of their 1992 debut album, but it does not seem out of place on Kan’kje, so the band is very consistent in style and compositions. If one is familiar with German fun rockers Torfrock, this one sounds a bit like those guys.

Now it is about time we get a real Hard Rock song, and less mainstream… “Slagers”. But instead, the band attacks us with an acoustic guitar and another “aaah-aaah-aaah” chorus. Okay, there is some electric guitar here, too, but this is less Bastard than just a suburb-raised behaving kid bearing the name of his father with the “junior” mercilessly added to the name. Finally, with the faster “Kom Heim” – an educated guess: that means “come home” – the band adds a bit of Punk to their mixture, so that this track sticks out of the mainstream, in which the Band drowns again with the calm Melodic Rock ballad “Fanden”.

Now the album becomes a bit boring. Granted, the melodies all work fine, and on stage this is certainly good music to drink a beer to, but it is definitely less Metal than radio compatible Pop-Rock with a bit more Guitar thrown into. The ballad “Politikk” is another nice, but unspectacular track blending into the overall picture the album paints. The remaining three songs still offer two surprises: “Trailersjofor” is the only song which needs to be called bad, as it is cliché to the bone and has a corny middle part and a horrible ending. But – surprise, surprise – the song is followed by the album highlight, “Rabarbraol” (does that really mean “Rhubarb Beer” as one may think?). A great, catchy guitar melody, still extremely mellow, but very effective would make this song a brilliant hit single. Still for mainstream radio, but hey, what the heck, better than those instant composition – you know, “just add water” music with an outcome of almost tasteless, interchangeable beats and unoriginal melodies that make you turn off the radio in a hurry. That the final track “Siste Sjangs” also is a decent Rock song goes almost unnoticed during the first spins, but still deserves to be mentioned.

It is difficult to judge this by Metal standards as the album contains Rock music that only brushes the corners of the hard side of life. But as Bastard deliver a good album for that style with a good singer, we cannot issue a different verdict than well done. Not the big thing for most listeners and readers here, but probably a nice addition to their collection for a small minority of open minded music lovers. If you consider yourself one of those, visit the band website and find out if you can relate to Bastard’s sound and endulge in simple, almost cheesy melodies and song structures. There is a target group out there, if the band is marketed right.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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