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TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES

RIO/Avant-Prog • Norway


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tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages picture
tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages biography
Taken from the band's Myspace page:

tr-Ond (from PANZERPAPPA) made tunes, and cooked coffee. Thomas (from THE SAMUEL JACKSON 5 and NOW'VE GOT MEMBERS) drank the coffee, and tweaked and turned the tunes inside out. The rest of the savages (Anders from PANZERPAPPA and the unknown Hans Petter) were whipped into shape (with feathers). Foreign cooks (Truls from TULS AND THE TREES and Sissyfus from NOW'VE GOT MEMEBERS) were allowed into the kitchen, to add their delicious spices and good skills to the final product.

Members:
Trond GJELLUM: drums, programing, Stylophone, samples, melodica, trondofon, kaosillator, singing
Hans Petter ALFREDSEN: keys, programing
Thomas MEIDELL: guitars, theremin, musical saw
Anders K. KRABBERØD: bass guitar, iPad
Nina HAGEN KALDHOL: electric guitar, Moog guitar


See also:

- Panzerpappa

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TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.15 | 7 ratings
tr-Ond And The Suburban Savages
2007
3.79 | 15 ratings
Suburban Savages: Kore Wa!
2017
4.13 | 12 ratings
Demagogue Days
2021

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TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Demagogue Days by TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.13 | 12 ratings

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Demagogue Days
tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by alainPP

5 stars Attention bomb: Suburban Savages launches into the bath in 2007 with Tr-Ond And The Suburban Savages after having worked on Panzerpappa from the new millennium and played on White Willow. Avant-garde rock; here pop- rock-synth-musical in the lineage of Henry Cow, Lars Hollmer, Happy The Man, Magyar Posse, Brian Eno, the most recent Pure Reason Revolution or even the very controversial Meer; far from the RIO, zeuhl, jazz, Canterbury or crimsonien from the start. An OMNI album.

"Aroused And Confused" on a synth-pop tune, a bit of the Keanes of the time before, Camels for the dancing melody, quadraphonic instrumentation, brit-pop; mid-term change of mood with Japan, Bowie for 'Furyo' BOF, a bit of Oldfield to put in a trance; the pearl piano at the base then orgasmic pleasurable rise, it causes from the start. "Taciturnity" on a syncopated drums, almost military air and melancholic introduction quickly erased by a fresh, cheerful and evolving rhythm; the polyphonic voices bring this more innovative to an extraordinary singular title; a gilmourien solo hooks up with the prog movement at the end for a wavian futuristic retro prog. "Demagogue Days" and an obvious radio-edit; voice, tune, catchy chorus, that of the first title in addition ?; innocence of the instruments and grace of the melody which does not hesitate to leave in such a short time in a mysterious symphonic country as we like them. "Krystle Fox" an instrumental on some basic notes of synthesizers helped by a warm guitar; minimalist tune à la Eno which starts in crescendo, dreamlike rise worthy of a Mono on melancholic and dazzling post-rock, an oxymoron that I love you in this troubled year.

"Iconoclast" flows onto the second side, a thunderous intro quickly caught up by energetic choir voices, some would say Gentle Giant, in indelicacy with them I can't find; Camel melody that melts; expressive title, punctuated in the Anglican atmosphere, out of time; be careful, you risk seeing a rabbit in a hat come out of the enclosures; yes the synth is indeed the art-musical instrument of the 2020s. "Let's Talk" and the new-age, airy, ethereal interlude; bucolic, atmospheric atmosphere, voice of goddesses in a meadow by a stream introducing "Under Mirrored Skies" which denotes by the choppy vocal attack of the singers and the synthetic instrumentation; a basic conventional psychedelic or even jazzy, monolithic, a little brit-pop, a little bit about the B-52's; Paf rhythmic break on keyboards coming from heaven or hell, it spins deliciously with the guitar suddenly more present; vocal final as some Scandinavian groups know how to do by bringing a cold and warm atmosphere. "The Silence Afterwards" and the 2nd instrumental with aerial synths and electronic Collins-style drums, a tad Latin; distinct evolution with well-established flourishes of instruments, synths, guitar and drums; symphonic rise then return to the starting and final rhythm as on certain tunes of 'Duke', slowly but surely; be careful, the repeat key starts up again without me having to tell you.

An innovative, catchy, dancing, progressive, eclectic sound, based on synths and classical instruments brings a fresh, innovative post rock tune with catchy and relaxed minimalist melodies, art-rock as I say it. The catchy and frolicking simplicity mixed with the hallucinating complexity of progressive rock for an album talking about altered communication in this crazy pandemic world. A strange, not prog album where the notes plunge into a magnificent avant-garde progressive rendering, Trond, Anders, Mari and Thomas shaping a jewel; just listen, listen and you will be won over. CD, digital and vinyl format.

 Demagogue Days by TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.13 | 12 ratings

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Demagogue Days
tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars There seem to be countless Scandinavian bands out there that put out sad and melancholic music that it has almost become a genre in and of itself. This is not the case with Suburban Savages album "Demagogue Days" however. It's been several years since their last album "Kore Wa!", and there have been a few line-up changes since then. In that album, there seemed to be more of a unfocused sound that might spring from the fact that the band was trying to work in too many styles like Zeuhl and punk which almost created a haphazard feeling even though the album itself turned out pretty decent.

For their 2021 album "Demagogue Days", the band seems a lot more focused on a style that quite effectively melds bright poppy music with complex progressive styles. Remember the days when you could whistle, hum or silently sing those complex songs from Gentle Giant or Yes? Well, this album seems to have hit on this quite well. While the band seems to have moved a bit away from the avant-pop music from before, they still retain an impressive level of complexity while making their music bright and cheery sounding. It's a surprisingly great combination on this album that may surprise you quite pleasantly.

You'll pick up on the sophisticated pop style on songs like "Aroused and Confused" where electronic and traditional rock instruments alike work together to create some interesting timbres throughout. Also, with three vocalists, you'll hear a layering that creates an almost choral effect in the 2nd half of the track that will remind you of Pure Reason Revolution. This will also come to play in the title track, which is simple and complex at the same time. You'll notice that the band does not use standard song styles, yet the melodies are simple enough to be memorable, yet complex enough to keep things interesting.

It's not all bright and cheery, however. "Iconoclast" starts off with a solid rhythm section supporting a darker synth melody which eventually slips quite comfortable into a very Gentle Giant-like melody where the vocalists participate in a very tricky interchange. In the midst of all this, they still leave space for some resolute instrumental sections and a great guitar-led section to end it all off with. Styles also meld together in the instrumental "Krystle Fox" as a fast moving, arpeggio-like tonal percussion supports a slower moving guitar melody creating an interesting contrast. Other atypical instruments are brought in and given time to play around with the theme before things get heavy as everything is brought together.

"Under Mirrored Skies" is also a highlight of the album, utilizing vocals in a different way by allowing individual singers to create lyrical sections that have their own melodies. After a few long verses, the synth and guitar move into a call and answer section which builds in tension and heaviness as the guitar pounds away and the synth flies off into the stratosphere.

This album quite effectively combines simplistic with complex and that is what makes it the most interesting. This is accomplished both by vocal and instrumental sections and it all melds together quite well. The band's aim seems to be finding that fine line between accessible and complex, a line that has been found before in some of the classical prog bands of yesteryear, and a line which The Suburban Savages find here, yet they also make everything relevant and modern so there is no mistake that they are developing their own style and finding their own niche.

 Suburban Savages: Kore Wa! by TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.79 | 15 ratings

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Suburban Savages: Kore Wa!
tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Formerly tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages, Kore Wa! shows this Norwegian band refining their sound into great quirky, poppy, sometimes nujazz-feeling prog. The keys to this band seem to be in the quirky synthesizer sounds and styles, exceptional bass play, solid drum play and wide diversity of song presentations (Japanese, English, instrumental, with JAGA JAGGIST, ARTHUR BROWN, Zeuhl, GENTLE GIANT, NEMO, ATOMIC APE, JOE JACKSON just a few of the styles and sounds I hear glimpses of).

1. "Fade Into Obscurity" (5:02) mid-paced jazzy rock closer to JAGA JAZZIST than JOE JACKSON with a first vocalist who sounds like the gentler side of Joe Jackson and a third who sounds like Frank Zappa! An extended albeit simple "saw" synth solo in the middle is backed by cool industrial percussion. The final third is again split between the two vocalists with some poppy "ba-ba" background vocalists. Catchy! (8.5/10) 2. "Pronk" (3:57) again, a kind of pop-Nujazz feel with odd time signatures opens with a long happy intro before some odd harmonized vocals enunciating some words in English very slowly. Creepy synth solo with cool flute runs and trills running around behind is followed by a guitar-led section. It almost sounds like Arthur Brown at the end! (8.5/10)

3. "As I Am Dying" (6:00) the opening sounds not like the Beach Boys, but... the vocal section is almost GENTLE GIANT-ish while the instrumental sections in between are very synth & organ heavy proggy. The background "aahhs" are creepy and almost comical. The song grows on you! Definitely the most proggy song on the album. The second half is great--sounding like something from a NEMO album. One of my top three. (9/10)

4. "Guzarondan" (5:29) another fave--an instrumental with some nice melodies woven together, again in the kind of Nujazz style that JAGA JAZZIST has been using for some time. (9/10)

5. "Von Two" (4:24) another song very much in the JJ Nujazz vein. Well composed and performed with some nice intricacies, nuances, shifts and melodies. The other top three. (9/10)

6. "Kore Wa!" (4:12) opens with the establishment of a rumbling bass riff that repeats pretty much throughout the song. Soon it is joined by drums keys and guitars and spoken lyrics in Japanese! Reminds me of the sci-fi B-movie soundtrack music of American band Atomic Ape! This is awesome. Even has a Zeuhl passage (tongue-in-cheek?) at the end of the third minute and into the fourth. Quite a cool song! Smiles all the way! My favorite song on the album. (9.5/10)

7. "Docteur Mago" (8:44) another excellent instrumental more on the proggy side. Nice changes and solos and precision timing and dynamic shifts. There's even a quiet interlude in the middle! And some more UNIVERSAL TOTEM ORCHESTRA/SHUB-NIGGURATH stuff in the second half. (8.5/10)

4.5 stars, a near masterpiece of progressive rock music.

So what's missing? I'm not sure. Perhaps it's in the repetitive nature of the Nujazz style that I sometimes loose interest. Perhaps it's in the typically restrained and unspectacular (unemotional) soloing from the instrumentalists. The vocals (are they supposed to be tongue-in-cheek/comical) are a real entertainment highlight for me. I wish every song had some.

 Suburban Savages: Kore Wa! by TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.79 | 15 ratings

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Suburban Savages: Kore Wa!
tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Norwegian band SUBURBAN SAVAGES first surfaced ten years back, then going by the name Tr-ond and the Suburban Savages. A decade later they are back with a slightly expanded line-up and their sophomore production, "Kore Wa!", which was released by Norwegian label Apollon Records.

Suburban Savages as they appear as of 2017 comes across as a band that will be a perfect choice to seek out if you today have a strong fascination for the more accessible aspects of progressive rock, but would like to have a taste of what the more avant-oriented aspects of the genre may have to offer. "Kore Wa!" is an album that mix and blend aspects of both these approaches to the art of progressive rock in a rather successful manner, and as such merits a check by the curious as well as those with an already existing interest in material of a more avant-oriented nature.

 Suburban Savages: Kore Wa! by TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.79 | 15 ratings

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Suburban Savages: Kore Wa!
tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars You can't deny that Trond (Panzerpappa) and his gang have been influenced by Japanese avant. But we are in Norway right? Don't matter... This is a very peculiar release, 10 years after their debut. They have now dropped the "TR-OND and the" from the band name leaving them as mere (sic) "Suburban Savages" - great match to the music - and perhaps one indicating more collaboration (?).

There is a lot going on here, from ethnic to avant-influences, some progressive electronic and a fair number of commercial/prog-pop elements. The vocals are strange and fitting, to say the least, without particularly standing out; the tonalities are quite obscure along with the mood of Kore Wa! A range of keyboard sounds transfer you from the far East to the folksy world, church organ sounds mix with moog guitars (great choice!) and cosmic sounds (listen to the highlight "Guzarondan" or the accessible opener "Fade Into Obscurity"). Tribal rhythms and intricate percussion are also frequent, adding to the ambience.

Cohesion is not the strongest attribute and you might find this album rather uneven at times but interesting throughout nevertheless. The deep, hypnotic, doomy start to "As I am Dying" gives its way to a 3+ minute immense and haunting improvisation on church organ which turns melodic mid-way. The closing "Docteur Mago" is not very different, albeit not as tight. The exploration journey peaks with the ultimately crazy title track where the band go berserk on sounds and vocals, clearly influenced by Japanese avant-prog.

Maybe not in my top-10 of the year, but surely in my top list of the most boundary-stretching efforts. Give it a try.

3.5 stars

 Suburban Savages: Kore Wa! by TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.79 | 15 ratings

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Suburban Savages: Kore Wa!
tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Quite comfortable.

"Kore Wa!" is the second album of SUBURBAN SAVAGES that has been recorded / produced for seven years and finally released in mid 2017. Actually I've mysteriously got impressed at the sleeve and the title of their newest album (a Japanese phrase "Kore Wa!" means "this is!" in English), and currently I appreciate stumbling upon their fantastic stuff and themselves. Not only the exterior but also the musical contents have completely knocked me out. I have assumed they would feel familiar with Japan and Japanese culture, and made sure of this via their soundscape seasoned with Japanese (or related) folksy melody lines. Well understood why seven or more years were needed for creating material for "Kore Wa!". Via this stuff we can hear a variety of melodic appearances they might possess in their inner space.

It's crazy amazing that avantgarde complexity and pop, catchy intensity come one after another like a merry go round. Such a well- matured, melodically-balanced movement cannot easily be heard even in progressive rock scene or something. The opening starshine "Fade Into Obscurity" lets us know enough (and their fragile chorus is fantastic too). In "As I Am Dying" deep, heavy, and mysterious anxiety will pop up and hide out under the complicated cloudy sky. The titled track might be sung in (especially old-fashioned) Japanese language but I cannot understand their "words" but unique and challenging sense.This song (with "hoy hoy hoy!") could not remind me of Japanese kabuki nor kyogen lol, but we can find their strong motivation to adopt every element all over the world and digest enough for the sound launcher rich in their originality.

Eventually I've got immersed in this creation not because I'm a Japanese but I'm fascinated by sound innovation. Woohoo.

 tr-Ond And The Suburban Savages by TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.15 | 7 ratings

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tr-Ond And The Suburban Savages
tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Wee, this is fun!

Shall I compare thee to a Panzerpappa album? Less intense and complex, but as refreshing and amusing.

Trond Gjellum has assembled some savages around him to make some music not within the Panzerpappa confinements. You can see in their Myspace page who's he playing with.

The opening of the first track, The Madonna Death Cult Camp, gives me an impression of a 70's movie, somewhat like a fast driving car scene on an abandoned road along a beach. The tune is playful, amusing, semi-gloomy but with a strong sense of vitality and joy at the same time. That is a feature prevalent in Panzerpappa's music as well and it is very well done here as well. In essence the touch of Trond is very well felt here, obviously, and one can appreciate how large a part he has in giving Panzerpappa their particular sound, as it permeates here as well. This particular finger print, the mix of seriousness, tension and joviality is by now his trademark I'd say. It is such a great experience to follow the track develop and unfold before your ears, the melody painted in different moods and the main theme being played with. That is the magic of this album (as is the magic in Panzerpappa's albums). The other main attractor is the strength of the melodies, their playfulness and beauty. With these two elements - exploration and melody - I get what is needed from an album.

However, not all tracks are in the same level for me. There are some lighter tunes, like For E with its programming which to me doesn't add much to the album (though it's not a bad tune, just not a strong one as well, therefore, for me not much is gained from its inclusion in the album). Another track like Andre Malist has a more straight approach, almost "pop-y" but as the track goes on, I find it to improve.

But when a song like Mother Of Time starts (with its odd and funny lyrics), all is forgotten as we are rolled into the rollercoaster again. The rhythmic nature of the music is such that it grabs me, gets my full attention and carries me away, which is what good music does. The last track, Not Necessarily A Miracle is a good example of that. There I hear a well-balanced mix of propulsive rhythm, beautiful melody and a special atmosphere.

I'll say one more thing about the music that they make; it makes me wish I had become a musician and not settle for learning a few years to play keyboards. Making music like this is fun to compose and to play. Listening to the album, I think it is safe to say they had fun playing/recording it.

Not a masterpiece or essential, but creative, original, highly enjoyable and well played.

Recommended listening!

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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