Jan-Simon : The Norwegian duo with the difficult name Årabrot has been around since 2001 and has reached their fifth album already, but until now this band remained a well-kept secret outside Norway. Perhaps this will change, now that 'Solar Anus' has been released. This new Årabrot album was recorded and mixed in Chicago by none other than Steve Albini - famous producer of bands such as The Pixies, Nirvana but also known for his own bands Big Black and Shellac. Since Årabrot only uses a downtuned guitar, drums, vocals and some additional electronic effects, it was not a strange choice. Albini has built a name for himself as a producer of such "minimalistic” bands.
On 'Solar Anus' we find eight bone-dry noiserock 'n' roll tracks in which the limited equipment is not apparent for a single moment. Årabrot has named itself after the local garbage dump and its music is suitably dirty. Like a smerig. Like a modern alloy of Birthday Party, Melvins, the lesser known Killdozer and good-old rock 'n' roll with traces of eighties and nineties noise 'Solar Anus' washes over the listener. Thematically 'Solar Anus' is rather original, in the sense that the band steers away from radical nationalistic themes that are so characteristic for their black/viking metal compatriots or the standard heavy metal nonsense. Instead inspiration was found in the work of French writer-philosopher Georges Bataille, whose nihilistic-surrealistic ´L'Anus Solaire´ was even borrowed to create the cd-title. Årabrot sees similarities with Bataille in his juxtaposition of extremes: high and low, beauty and ugliness, the animalistic and the divine in man. The sun is the symbol of this: its rays bring warmth and life, yet can cause death and destruction at the same time.
Most tracks on 'Solar Anus' are midtempo and are carried by a combination of heavily distorted guitar riffs created by songwriter Kjetil Nernes and the rather simple drumming by Vidar Evensen, who has a fondness for cymbals. The real strength however lies in Nernes' versatile and powerful singing. From gruntlike growls to emotional whispering, Nernes has it all. Agression oozes from songs such as 'Madonna Was A Whore' and 'Odine', but also the long 'Solaranus' - which sounds as at least two separate songs joined together - shows a band that may be modest in size, but has energy for ten. Whether it is because of Steve Albini or not remains an unanswered question, fact is that Årabrot is as raw as Big Black (or Fugazi or Killdozer or a number of other legendary eighties/nineties underground bands) and that is to be commended. Årabrot gets noticed by this, because bands like these are hard to find nowadays.