Originally released on vinyl in 2019, the self-titled Permafrost EP now gets its full digital unveiling. It is a four track encounter which harkens back to the post punk days of the eighties whilst casting its own individually magnetic presence upon ears and imagination.
Norway hailing, Permafrost was formed in 1982 by Frode Heggdal Larsen and Kåre Steinsbu. The band’s current line-up began taking shape when Robert Heggdal and Trond Tornes joined in 2001 and in place when Daryl Bamonte was enlisted in 2016. Influences to the band’s sound included the likes of Joy Division, Pere Ubu, Yello, Fad Gadget, The Cure, Talking Heads, The Residents, Wire, and Wolfgang Press with their name taken from a Magazine song. This past September the quintet released the single Restore Us, it alone proving that there is certain Permafrost uniqueness to their music which is boldly compelling within this EP.
Sugarcubes opens up the release, its icy electronic shimmer a source of intrigue before the throaty bassline soon alongside quickly consummated our attention. It is the type of lure we instinctively lust over and is more than backed in tempting by the chilled wires of guitar and the magnetic vocals. Those post punk inspirations seed the track but equally it has a lively pop infectiousness, a union akin to a mix of Interpol and Modern English in many ways.
The following Kingdom opens with a stark atmospheric blast of cold air, one matched in the glacial breath and tone of the song. Again the polar strands of guitar and the tenebrific lure of the bass gripped the senses, their contemplation an echo of lyrical and vocal suggestion as synths cast atmospheric intimation of a boreal landscape.
Lifetime Commitment soon burrowed under the skin with its contagious demeanour, its air less intense than its predecessors and lively gait effortlessly infectious. Even so, there is a sense of shadows lurking its romance and enticement, that edge only adding to the compelling proposal.
Completed by the Japanese Mix of Sugarcubes, the Permafrost EP was manna to our post punk tastes and for us a must for similar appetites.
The Permafrost EP is out now; available @ https://permafrost3.bandcamp.com/album/permafrost-ep
Pete RingMaster 28/10/2021
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