Kaizers Orchestra isn’t an orchestra in the conventional way. There are no strings and no sweeping movements, but their music is rich and complex enough to merit a conductor if they wanted one. With edgy alt rock riffs, a few ska-inspired horns, and the occasional British invasion synth, these Norwegians create what’s been affectionately termed gypsy rock.
From the fragments of their band Blod, Snått & Juling, childhood friends Janove Ottesen and Geir Zahl formed Kaizers Orchestra. Now, ten years after their inception and four members larger, Kaizers Orchestra as accrued a massive fan base in Scandinavia. Their latest LP, Maskineri (Machinery), released in 2008, received wide critical acclaim in Europe and debuted at number one on the Norwegian charts. They’re also rumored to put on a tight, fast-paced show and often sport gas masks on stage.
Whether you like slow grooves or tough tunes, Kaizer Orchestra soothes your craving. Janove (The Jackal) Ottesen’s rough, melodic pipes provide catchy choruses and occasionally some rap attitude to their genre-hopping tunes. Ottesen also sings exclusively in Norway’s Byrne dialect for which the band received “Bragdprisen” (Achievement Award) from the county of Rogaland, for their efforts to promote the dialect.
Check out their video for “Enden Av November!”
Photo Courtesy of Kaizers Orchestra