Pom Poko - 'Cheater'

7/10

For years we have been talking about the groundbreaking work that the Norwegian pop scene has been producing. But recently, we have begun to hear that the punk scene over there has also been showing a lot of its merits as well. With bands like Sløtface and Death By Unga Bunga finding their feet far beyond the borders of Scandinavia, it now feels like upstarts Pom Poko are ready to join them on the international scene as they deliver their blistering sophomore album 'Cheater', a record that dips its toe in retro waters just as much as it looks to move forward.

Following up their 2019 debut 'Birthday', a full-length that pulled some interesting punches and led to their more renowned identity this year, 'Cheater' is one of those rare records that seems to do everything in its power to turn you off, yet still come across as highly engaging and captivating. The general tone of the release is a hard and raucous blend of unconventional and abstract ideas, but held together with this rich and adventurous dynamic that looks to keep you hooked throughout. It has a fun and textured direction that feels like every member suddenly forgot how to play their instruments overnight and had to learn again from scratch, creating this rough yet charming appeal.

I wouldn't say it is one of the more unique offerings we have had in the last few months, but 'Cheater' certainly looks to turn out the surprises as often as possible. Whether it is the more simple and energetic pop-punk offerings, or the otherworldly and atmospheric numbers, prepare to find plenty to love on this bold and enigmatic new collection.

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