REVIEW: Hedvig Mollestad Trio’s “Enfant Terrible”

 photo HedvigMTrio_cover_zps405abc84.jpg Before this album came to my attention, I had not been aware of guitarist Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen or her trio. Sadly, I wish I was, for Enfant Terrible (Rune Grammofon) features the kind of rock’n’roll I really enjoy hearing, the kind of gritty and distorted guitar-based hard rock that brings to mind loads of grungy artists who make this type of music louder and stronger with every passage. The songs may sound like there are distinct destinations when they begin but once they get past the middle section, anything goes. A perfect example of this is “Arigato, Bitch”, where it gets into blues dirges before it gets into some kind of trippy progressive section with math rock tendencies. Thomassen plays articulately throughout but when she wants to cut deep into the abyss, she truly goes off in her own world. In the past, guitar work like this, along with the bass playing of Ellen Brekken and drumming of Ivar Loe Bjørnstad would normally find its way in hard rock circles and only that. The music stays strong in that genre but it’s that drifting elsewhere that puts it on the level of Frank Zappa, Medeski Martin & Wood or The Roots. The all instrumental album carries a lot of mileage, and for me this will allow me to check out the albums I’ve missed before. If you’ve been on a Hedvig Mollestad Trio trip before, Enfant Terrible is a ride worth experiencing many times over.


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