By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 21, 2007 4:05PM
It seems fitting that 120 Days hails from Norway since their music perfectly fits as a soundtrack for the land of the midnight sun. Long sprawling compositions built upon beds of synthesizers, guitars and droning beats bear down oppressively only to be buoyed by the melodies spiking up through dense wall of sound.
The band’s debut opens with the slow insistent unfolding of the epic-length (and epically titled) "Come Out (Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone)." Singer Adne Meisfjord takes his sweet time and patiently allows the tension to build before unleashing his plaintive yelp to punctuate the song's driving emotion.
The group owes a huge debt to Joy Division and The Cure (circa Disintegration) but these obvious nods to the past don't dilute the urgency of the group's music. The dark melodrama is neither ironic nor parodic, as its influences serve to guide the band without reducing 120 Days to simple mimicry.
The band's live shows would translate well to canvas as minimalistic paintings that evolve into complex complex explosions. A song like "Keep On Smiling" might begin as a simple drum loop only to end in a cascading shimmer as the multiple layers of sound that have built up over the duration fade out into resolution.