Torgeir Waldemar – No Offending Borders

Album Review | Jansen Plateproduksjon | Review by Damian Liptrot | Stars: 3/5

Being completely unfamiliar with Torgeir, I was unsure what to expect as the disc went into the player but what followed was a series of surprises, mostly positive and none unpleasant. As the music revealed itself, the first surprise was that the first track could have come straight out of the early seventies California singer-songwriter scene, fragile and open with hints back further to the likes of Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton. No Scandinavian stereotypes here, though the vocal is pure, clear and more Home Counties grammar school than Topanga Canyon, which leads to the second surprise. Track two crashes in in the manner of “Cinnamon Girl”, with the whole feel of the track reminiscent of Neil Young in his Crazy Horse prime, with neither guitar nor vocal coming as a disappointment to a fan of the real Shakey – definitely more Barn Door than Green Door. “Among The Low” is next up, offering shades of The Strawbs, Old Crow Medicine Show and a sprinkling of psychedelia, a stand out track amongst a satisfying collection. The remainder of the album contains other hints of quality influences, Dylan and Harper amongst them. Lyrically introspective at times but also inviting listeners to consider the wider state of the world. The only nod towards his Norwegian compatriots’ love of black metal is a reminder that ‘We’re All Going to Die’ as he rocks out once again. A further surprise occurs as track 8 is replaced by one that appears very familiar, only to be recognised as Track 1 reappearing, meaning that the song content is limited to a slightly disappointing count of 8, as more would have been welcome. Following the music, a little investigation revealed further surprises. Whatever images of the singer that the music had conjured were proved incorrect, as a short search revealed a long haired, bearded, black clad individual who could have been a stunt double for Hawkwind’s Dave Brock at any time in the 70s, definitely another hit for Scandi-Noir, and no need for subtitles!