Djerv - Djerv (Indie Recordings)

Norwegians Djerv attempt to be all things to all men with their debut release - and nearly pull it off.
Release Date: 
16 Jun 2011 - 11:30pm

As winter takes a firm hold on the antipodes, there’s a fair chance you may be suffering from a few sniffles, maybe a bit of a blockage here and there, especially in the ear, nose and throatal regions. As your doctor, may I be so bold as to make a small suggestion? If your ears are a bit bunged up, simply position the offending orifices close to your nearest loudspeaker, insert this new Djerv long player into your brutality delivery system of choice and press play. Thirty seconds of album opener Madman should be enough to rid you of any lasting problems in the ear department.

Madman, as intensely coruscating yet strangely uplifting opening statements of intent go, is hugely successful- but it doesn’t tell the full story of this record, which manages to be equal parts exasperating and exhilarating at the same time. Formed with the avowed intention of exploring that grey area ‘where rock, metal and black metal meet’, from the ashes of acts such as Trelldom, Stonegard and Wardruna, Djerv is in real terms a vehicle to show off the many and considerable talents of former Animal Alpha  vocalist Agnete Kjolsrud; Improbably she looks like a satanised version of the Dixie Chicks chanteuse Natalie Maines whilst managing to sound at turns like an equally demonic Gwen Stefani or Shirley Manson or – and this is where the exasperation sets in, Natalie fucking Bassingthwaighte.... That’s right. When Djerv stop rocking and start popping (these are relative terms, you understand – there’s no autotuning or urban ‘beats’ in evidence so don’t worry yourselves unduly), they’ve an unnerving tendency to sound like a filthed-up version of the Rogue Traders. This, to people like us, can of course only be a bad thing but, to radio and TV programmers across the globe looking for a band they can hang their ‘cool’ hats on, this sound, the attitude of the band, the striking videos can only mean one thing – kerching!

The bottom line here is that, whatever you, I or indeed the world's tastemakers think, Djerv would appear to be unstoppable. Released in their native Norway a week earlier than anywhere else, Djerv crashed into the National Charts there at number eight. The hint of naughtiness that runs throughout this album,  bolted onto massive talent and the grade  ‘A ‘ chart bothering popmobilty of the likes of Headstone and Gruesome Twosome means that surely this band can’t fail to make a considerable dent on the big time. But I can hear all the Trelldom fans starting to fire up their forum accounts even as I type...