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Several Brains

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Album Review

The guys of No Torso breathe life into the third wave of ska in a way that isn't entirely dependent upon revved up horns and breakneck tempos. So really, the band appears to channel groups like the Specials and Madness more so than ska-punks Catch 22 or Reel Big Fish. On their debut, Several Brains, the band would much rather sit back and relax, choosing to tinge their breezy ska with touches of loose reggae and the occasional rock that rarely strays from the lively up-stroked riffing and relaxed brass their sound is based on. Hailing from Oslo, Norway, No Torso resembles a less pop-punk-adjusted RX Bandits, but only if the Bandits were really headed by Millencolin's Nikola Sarcevic, thanks to lead singer Lars Oskarssen's charming Scandinavian accent. The album brightly rolls along at a fairly unhurried pace, occasionally turning the speed up on tracks like "Hangman" and "New Trend Makeover," where the band confidently showcases their youthful exuberance. However, several of the songs start off strong, only to somewhat fade away with extended closing jams. The guys are good musicians and the overall effect is quite a relaxing one; but sometimes the drawn-out conclusions lose one's attention and leave a bit feeling of emptiness. But aside from the sporadically desired tightening of some tracks, Several Brains is still a fun and enjoyable debut worth checking out. It's sure to leave listeners with a bounce in their step and a smile on their face.


Formed: Oslo, Norway

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Oslo, Norway-based No Torso is a ska outfit with hints of rock that proudly boasts a wide range of influence -- from bands like Hot Water Music and Minus the Bear to ska heroes the Specials, Madness, and the Slackers. However, their sound was mostly akin to a third wave version of the latter part of the aforementioned list. In addition to various compilation appearances, the guys issued the Fatal Fraud EP in 2004 on Fucking Northpole Records. With most members still barely able to legally drink in...
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Several Brains, No Torso
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