Leon : Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if Ozzy Osbourne would ever start to make rock music with funk influences? Chances are that it would sound similar to what the Norwegian band Ungdomskulen is doing. This is mainly because of the voice of Kristian Stockhaus, which can really resemble the sound of the Black Sabbath singer. Since 2003 the Norwegians have been making music and have a small list of released music, most of which were released as singles. Their new record is called ‘Gold Rush’ and is a full-length CD filled with rock music.
‘Gold Rush’ isn’t a regular album, the guys from Ungdomskulen try their best to make music that defies any existing genre, successfully to some extent. Like I mentioned, funk/rock would be the best description I could give, but it’s more complicated than that. The songs aren’t very complex but very melodic, this makes it very accessible and easy to enjoy. The album sounds like it was recorded fifteen years ago and that suits the music well. instrumentally the music is also quite fine, everything sounds tight and the parts are mostly interesting. The vocals of Stockhaus are definitely not bad but he has the same ‘whiney’ sound that Ozzy Osbourne has as well, since I’m not a big fan of Osbourne’s voice I don’t particularly like this very much. Another point of criticism is that there’s too little diversity between the songs on the album, so after a few of them I really feel the need to listen to something else for a while. Especially the song ‘Police Woman’ is disappointing.
If I’d be at a festival, and I’d walk past a tent where Undomskulen would be playing, I would absolutely stop and check it out for a bit, but I wouldn’t want to see the whole concert. ‘Gold Rush’ is by all means not a bad album but it just misses some points to compete with other bands. Mostly I’m put off by the whiney sounding voice of Stockhaus and the little diversity in the songs on the album, if they’d work on that I might actually go and visit them when they perform live, if it’s close by. A decent record of a band with potential, but also with points for development.