Neither dead, expired nor ceasing to be, Miami Beach’s Ex Norwegian may take their name from the deceased parrot in Monty Python’s sketch but their career has reached its peak to date with the release of a best of…a double album no less.
Their Florida base may add the odd palm tree to the sunnier elements of their sound but there’s everything from Paisley Underground to Power Pop to crunchier psych to dig into, an almost Herculean 23 tracks which revisit every touch-stone from their 11 years together. There’s something particularly timeless about their sound, steeped in a nostalgia which isn’t rooted in one particular era but throughout the halcyon days of several. There’s a cheeriness but with a slightly jagged edge – Ex Norwegian could very easily be Scooby Doo’s house-band.
Led by the ever-present Roger Houdaille and flanked by Michelle Grand and Giuseppe Rodriguez, Ex Norwegian have managed to sustain their career without ever truly stretching their legs beyond the beach, their hardcore fans happy to hog them to themselves. Rather like semi-sound-a-likes, They Might Be Giants, there’s a real cult feeling about the band but their songs are deserving of a larger audience – ready made snap-shots of a band who seem eerily equipped to blast out 3-minute melodic masterpieces at the drop of a hat. There’s plenty of life left in the band yet.