Described as “the band with one foot in Pompei and one in Space”, The Low Frequency In Stereo have been an active outfit for over a decade; slowly building up a strong reputation outside of their native Norway. That quote is succinct description of their music although the space in question is of the kind one imagine in the 1960’s. Cue lots of cooing females, analog keyboards and Delia Derbyshire-style weirdness.
From the droning keyboards and the propulsive drums to the passive female vocals, ‘Elevated Desecration’ could easily be mistaken for a lost Stereolab track. It’s a good song but a little derivative to make this band stand out on their own. Thankfully, the quintet make their own noises thereafter. ‘Colette (Subie Subie)’ is much more distinctive, with girl group harmonies weaving in and out of stabbing keyboards and what sounds like obscure science fiction noises. Occasionally the vocals get washed away but for the macabre ‘Cybernautic’, a hyperactive ‘Black Receiver’ and the Krautrock-fest that is ‘Satellites In Sight’ they hit on a fine groove. There’s also humour on show for ‘Sonic Nerve Grip’ and only the relatively bland instrumental ‘White Echo’ disappoints. Cheekily, they save one of their best moments to last, courtesy of the addictive rhythms and even catchier chorus featured on ‘Secondhand Nation’.
As it happens, the “pop” part of the title is entirely appropriate which makes one think of a Scandinavian Stereolab but without the unnecessarily long, drawn-out bits. Furthermore, with that band on indefinite hiatus the sci-fi/retro-futurist crown is theirs for the taking.