The debut album of Norwegian psychedelic duo MISTY RANGE is too wonderful to describe in words. Listening to this CD almost takes you to another place, much as a great book does. At least, that was what I had in mind when I first heard MISTY RANGE. Nothing has changed since then, beside the fact that I love this album even more. Here, we have a swirling menagerie of colors, moods and emotions. There are light moments, dark moments, unbalanced moments, it's all covered. In doing this, MISTY RANGE have been influenced by a whole range of different musical styles, ranging from 1960s psychedelic rock over folk to new wave and jazz. Well actually, there's more to it than that. And the best part of it all is that these influences have merged together in a most mind-blowing and wonderful way.
The album is packed full of great sonic surprises and is powered by the playful enthusiasm of Arve Paulsen and Stig Rennestraum. They are not running out of ideas through the whole album, which causes an excellent listening experience. MISTY RANGE mesh wonderfully with the songs, creating a series of dense, textured soundscapes that sound more and more engrossing with each listen. The instrumentation, too, is perfectly calibrated to bring forth both sweet and bitter in equal measure. There are some heavy reverb-drenched guitar riffs, but there are also some quite moments and the way how this two guys combine everything together is truly awe-inspiring.
Even the relaxed vocal style of Arve Paulsen fits perfectly with each of the included ten tracks, but in general there's nothing flashy and rigid about this album. MISTY RANGE never lose their serenity, even if they reveal their heavier side. Another of the band's advantages is the rich instrumentation. Here are a lot of moments when I forgot that this is "only" a two-man band, but perhaps it is because there are a few guest musicians. But anyway, it does not alter the fact that this album is a darkly beautiful classic, a unique and brilliant collection of songs that deserves a chance by anyone who has a soft spot for outstanding psychedelic rock music. There is no doubt that MISTY RANGE is my favourite new discovery in 2011 so far and I can only express a purchase recommendation for this touching album.