A relative unknown proposition to audiences outside their native Norway, the punks of LÜT describe themselves as a “mosh and dance friendly whirlwind of joy”. Drawing inspirations from fellow Norwegian countrymen Turbonegro and Blood Command, Mersmak marks the sophomore full-length release for the rapidly upcoming indie punk group.
The album begins with the title track, introducing the sound optimistic of ambient synth paired with a simple 4/4 drum beat, but it’s the vocals that immediately capture the listener’s attention. A raspy yet melodic almost-scream reminiscent of somewhere between Refused and Linkin Park, it’s a strange pairing alongside upbeat and danceable indie rock musical accompaniment, yet it works, even if the style means the lyrics occasionally become lost on a casual listen.
Not that it would matter to most English-speaking audiences anyway, for every song on this release is performed in the band’s native Norwegian. It’s ambitious for a band attempting to break into an international scene, but a decision that should be commended; showing that here is a band with a real uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll attitude, unbending in the face of the predominantly English-language media of many of their contemporaries. However, given the band’s continued reliance on loud gang vocals through many of their choruses, it will be interesting to see how this translates in their live show outside of Norway. Though, a meticulously well-rehearsed live show is something that LÜT are quickly becoming known for internationally.
For first time listeners, Mersmak might just be an ideal sophomore record from LÜT. It draws stylistically on many of the band’s influences and brings together many several different musical styles into a delightful mix of the familiar, whilst also retaining something of a unique sound that makes LÜT stand out from other acts. There are elements of Turbonegro, but it doesn’t sound like a Turbonegro record. There are strong motifs from indie pop, but enough punk thrown into the mix that the band don’t belong entirely in that category either.
The critical acclaim that LÜT were getting for their live shows already marked them as a band to keep an eye on, and Mersmak seems to reinforce the notion that LÜT are a band we will definitely be hearing a lot more of in the future.
Mersmak is released February 12th via Indie Recordings.