Spielbergs – ‘This Is Not The End’

By Andy Joice

A few short days ago we published our Spielbergs mood board, which saw front man Mads Baklien take us through some of the inspirations that shaped himself, his band and, ultimately, their debut album ‘This Is Not The End’. Back in February 2018, the Oslo rockers released their debut single ‘We Are All Going To Die’ to much critical acclaim, uniting rock and indie fans, writers, and reporters. A hard hitting, anthemic singalong with pounding drums and a chorus perfect for stadiums, it was clear Spielbergs were a band to keep a close eye on.

Flash forward to now and the track makes a reappearance with the release of ‘This Is Not The End’. Except this time, it fits snugly into an album full of equally energetic and dynamic songs.

Opening with ‘Five On It’ and followed by debut EP track ‘Distant Star’, Spielbergs set their stall out early as powerful, infectious, almost unorganised fun. Creating a sound midway between Husker Du and Fugazi, there’s a vaguely nostalgic feel to the opening two tracks that leave such a satisfying taste in the mouth. While it isn’t a particularly new sound, it’s a style that is currently less pronounced with the rise of pop-punk and hardcore. If one thing is for sure, it’s that they know how to write a great rock song.

And yet, there are wider influences scattered throughout the record, too. ‘McDonalds (Please Don’t Fuck Up My Order)’, a near instrumental piece that creates an atmospheric soundscape akin to Explosions In The Sky is followed by ‘Sleeper’, a delicate Eliot Smith-esque acoustic sleeper. Slowing down for a couple of tracks, the tempo leaps back up with ‘4AM’, a bouncing, punching track opening with the line ‘when I was young, I was never anxious’. Throughout the album there are subtle hints of despondency fighting with hope, and ‘4AM’ is a prime example of the band looking back and reflecting upon themselves. It’s a study in maturity that reflects throughout ‘This Is Not The End’

The standout is closer ‘Forevermore’. Taking all the aforementioned elements – the atmospheric tones, the painfully truthful lyrics, the rousing melodies and the captivating chorus – it creates an ode to a lost love and looks back upon it with heart-breaking honesty.

‘This Is Not The End’ is an outstanding debut, with the ability to bounce between pounding, hard hitting party songs to the ambient, soul searching tracks without breaking the connection between the deep lyrical content and soaring melodies. It’s definitely not the end for Spielbergs – instead, it’s an excellent jumping off point for a hugely impressive band.

ANDY JOICE

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