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Reviews 2097

Bushman´s Revenge is, in the purest sense, a power trio: Even Helte Hermansen on guitar, Rune Nergaard on bass, and Gard Nilssen on drums. They are joined on two tracks by Stale Storlokken’s Hammond organ. They are from Norway. They crush. As much with the fury of their homeland’s black metal as with the angst of 1960s American free jazz, they crush. They play instrumentals. The instruments do all the singing—there may be no vocalist who can endure the band’s fire, though a prime Abbey Lincoln or Linda Sharrock might suffice. In Bushman’s more introspective moments, you’ll hear shades of Jeff Beck’s emotion, but the band puts Beck’s commotion to shame. You will not hear them cover “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” that’s for damn sure. Nor will you hear an aria from Turandot, though you will hear a blistering, razor-sharp version of Motorhead’s “Damage Case.” And from this album’s earliest moments, you’ll know that Jitterbug is everything a “Recording of the Month” should be—an exciting and moving performance of outstanding material, exquisitely captured.... Throughout, the sound is stunning. Roughly 90% of Jitterbug was recorded live in the studio over just three days, with minimal acoustic guitar, percussion, organ, and dobro overdubs captured three weeks later. Initial takes were produced using Pro Tools HD3, though all drum sub-mixes and most guitar sub-mixes were transferred to 2” tape, then back into Pro Tools before mastering. The mixing process saw judicious application of spring reverb and tape delay, minor EQ adjustments, and extremely careful use of a Vintage Design CL1 Mk.II compression unit. On my system, the CD edition provided a cleaner, more immediate sound, while the LP was meatier and imparted instruments, especially acoustic ones, with greater truth of timbre. Pick your pleasure. Every hard-rock record should be this explosive. Enthusiastically recommended, obviously.
Stereophile (US), Recording Of The Month

The second album by Bushman's Revenge, Jitterbug (Rune Grammofon), includes two tracks that should be all the sales pitch you need to decide if the instrumental trio's heavy, improvised and often rhythmically-free rock is right for you. The first 10 minutes of the record, with the Yoda-speak title "Always in Motion the Future Is," is guitarist Even Helte Hermansen (also in the Norwegian jazz-metal ensemble Shining) spinning out, in tangled swirls and long free falls fattened with distortion, like Jimi Hendrix in "Machine Gun" but cut free of straight time. Bassist Rune Nergaard and drummer Gard Nilssen chase Hermansen's impulses as if Jitterbug was a Marshall-amp version of John Coltrane's Interstellar Space. Then there is the Motörhead cover, "Damage Case," which comes without the lyrics (the band dubs this a "happy go lucky karaoke version" — get the words and try it yourself). Everything proceeds according to the original until a minute and a half in, when the Revenge take off for twenty seconds of no-beat-or-chord-change blowout, from which they swing back, on their idea of a dime, into the main hook. It's all over in three minutes, but it's enough to reassure that everything here (like the battered blues with organist Ståle Stroløkken, "While My Guitar Gently Breaks," and the dark march "Personal Poltergeist") is rock first, made with fierce proficient connection — then free flight.
David Fricke, Rolling Stone (US)

Formed six years ago by guitarist Even Helte Hermansen and bass player Rune Negaard in their hometown of Skien in Norway, Bushman’s Revenge is a powerful trio (here with guest organ player Stale Storlokken) whose influences range from hard rock acts such as Kiss and Pantera to free jazz gods Albert Ayler and Interstellar Space era John Coltrane. This latest helping from Bushman’s Revenge (named after a particularly fiery brand of chilli sauce), however, is more angled in the direction of rock improvisation than straightahead jazz chorusing, with plenty guitar chord riffing and fret board flaying emerging from the beating, pumping heart of Jitterbug. This especially leaps out on their rendition of Motörhead’s ‘Damage Case’, a lethal blast of hot Metal action that is further enhanced with brutalised hammerings of energetic free jazz stomp. The less hectic side of Bushman’s Revenge surfaces on ‘Personal Poltergeist’, a spacious lope that slowly escalates into a spiritualised jam session. The closing ‘Waltz For My Good Man’ is a beautifully paced ballad that cools the heat and displays the musical versatility of this exciting group.
Edwin Pouncy, Jazzwise (UK)

The Norwegian trio of Even Helte Hermansen (guitar, also of Shining), Rune Nergaard (bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums, percussion) begin their latest effort with a slow bluesy crawl which sounds an awful lot like something from a King Crimson bootleg circa 1972 before gradually spiralling upward into a cyclon of free rock fury. "Always In Motion The Future Is" serves as a fair summation of the group´s modus operandi, the three musicians chasing each other around the stereo picture with maniacal determination, Hermansen´s wah-wah guitar emerging from the cartoonish clamour like an angry anime dragon. At the other end of the spectrum, slower numbers such as "Wind And Fire" and "Waltz For My Good Man" luxuriate in a ragged melancholia comparable to Peter Green´s 1970 free blues one-off, "The End Of The Game".
Wire (UK)

Combining the muscled meatiness of classic blues-infused hard rock with a frenetic prog-style dynamic and the restless anything-goes blurt of jazz, this latest full-lenght from Bushman´s Revenge is one rambunctious ride. Veering between extended excursions into red-eyed blues (Waltz For My Good Man), plodding heaviness and wild abandonment (Always In Motion The Future Is), manic gear-changing (Kill Your Jitterbug Darlings) and even a revved-up re-working of one of Motorhead´s best (Damage Case), the end result is a molten mix of musics that rarely sticks with any one course for long. If you want something that offers Pink Floyd one minute, King Crimson-meets-The Groundhogs the next, plus a host of gutsy jazz-wise eruptions and clamorous jams, the Jitterbug should tick more than a few boxes.
Rock-a-Rolla (UK)

Hot ! Hot! Extra Hot! Fast möchte man noch einmal an Gitarrengötter glauben. Hermansen spielt jedenfalls wie einer, der an der Crossroad nach Asgard einen Pakt geschlossen hat, damit Bushman‘s Revenge in einer Champions League mit dem Scorch Trio, Massacre, Brewed By Noon mitmischen kann. Nach dem göttlich rockenden ‚Always in motion the future is‘ legt ‚Kill Your Jitterbug Darlings‘ dermaßen einen Zahn zu, dass es fasst postpunkig klingt. Dafür kommt ‚While My Guitar Gently Breaks‘, hammondbeorgelt von Ståle Storløkken, breit und tief wie der Mississippi daher. ‚Too Old To Die Young‘ bleibt langsam, aber schwingt sich vom schlammigen Braun ins Luftige, träumerisch und schwerelos. Dieser Elementenwechsel bestimmt auch ‚Wind And Fire‘, wenn auch nur als Vorahnung, der Katastrophenschutz zieht aber schon mal die Stiefel an und schreitet, wie nur wahre Helden schreiten, zum Einsatz. Mit ‚Professor Chaos‘ ist man dann schon mitten im Tumult, um beim rasanten ‚Damage Case‘ mit den Mächten des Wirrwars zu hoppen und zu moshen. Bei ‚Personal Poltergeist‘ nimmt Hermansen zuerst allein Fühlung auf, bevor das ganze Trio, wieder mit Storløkken an der Seite, langsam, aber vertrauensvoll vorrückt ins Reich der Geister. Für ‚Waltz For My Good Man‘ drehn sich Hermansen und sein Double, das klingt, als würde es Banjo zupfen, folkloresk, aber auch ein wenig schwermütig, im 3/4-Takt. Wahre Helden dürfen das.
Bad Alchemy (DE)

Wie die Schwammerln scheinen gegenwärtig da oben in den norwegischen Wäldern die Gitarristen zu wachsen. Wie es bei Schwammlern so ist: Erst wenn das erste bemerkt wird, sieht man auch nach und nach all‘ die anderen. Even Helte Hermansen ist einer davon, nämlich einer der jüngeren. Zusammen mit Rune Nergaard & Gard Nilssen erweist er auf „Jitterbug“ – benannt nach einem US-Tanz der 1930er Jahre, der auf Deutsch soviel wie Zappelphilip bedeutet – den Songs seines/ihres Herzens die Reverenz. Das schlägt sich nicht selten fantasielustig auf die Titel dieser Platte nieder: großartig zum Beispiel „While my guitar gently breaks“ frei nach George Harrison – und geradezu grenzgenial „Too old to die young“, die alten Nervensägen von Jethro Tull auf den Kopf gestellt. Über weite Flächen dominiert hier die Stimmung von dunklem Bluesrock. Meist mit sehr viel Atmosphäre aufgeladen, punktuell unter Einsatz ein bissel arg vieler Töne. Alles auf „Jitterbug“ wurde komponiert vom Drummer Gard Nilssen, der auch als Teil der Band Puma (s.o.) von sich hören lässt. Stargast Stale Storlokken von Supersilent wurde hier eh schon oft genug hymnisiert. Ach ja, ein Stück floss nicht aus Nilssens Feder: „Damage case“ vom Motörhead-Kilmister, hier zu bewundern in der „Happy go lucky karaoke version“. Lustige Schwammerln.
Freistil (AT)

Musikken er vilter, fuzz-holdig og riffrik, men også avdempet blålig og følsom. En gjennomløpende grov tråd holder de stilmessig varierte låtene sammen. Bushman´s Revenge er ikke stilskapere, men de løfter frem tradisjoner og vitaliserer meningsinnholdet i dem. 5/6.
Aftenposten (NO)

Bushman´s Revenge rör seg från psykedeliskt stroboskopjam, över snabbvågad surfmusic, någon sorts speedad metall, hårdsmäld fusion, perverterad country eller friform, för att så borra ner sig i regelrätt, stilla blues på "Jitterbug". Det luktar sent, experimentellt 60-tall om inspirationskällorna. Det er som att höra Grateful Dead möta Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Sonny Sharrock och James Blood Ulmer på Fillmore East. Typ. En av de tyngsta samtidigt lyhörda plattor jag hört på år och dag!
Jazznytt (NO)

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