Razika: Program 91
Norwegian four-piece, Razika, offer an ever uplifting pop-rock, with a strong ska influence. Tonally, they are a female, European incarnation of American indie hipsters, Real Estate. Water-drop guitar licks and trebly rhythms doused in eternal reverb are just some shared features. Overall, Program 91 offers little in terms originality, but still manages to endear the listener through its pure effortlessness.
In the right context – say, driving or just strolling down a sunny street – the tunes flow by breezily. With half of the album in Norwegian, and half in English, the record is linguistically flexible and intriguing; track names such as ‘Taste My Dream’ and ‘Why Have We To Wait’ border on the hilarious. The latter track is an absolute standout, with an infectious melody and catchy, “skank” guitar lines.
Scandinavian proficiency in the English language is well-known, even embarrassingly so when found to be more refined than the average Australian banter. Razika is one such group of musicians. Their lyrical wordplay and rhyme scheme is, though addictively catchy, efficient and clever. At times, Program 91 can feel rather 90s ska (despite the genre’s origins resting in 50s Jamaica) and tacky – one bouncy track too similar to the boppy one before.
That said, the entire product feels whole. There is sufficient rhythmic diversity and melodic movement to interest even an ardent anti-ska or anti-pop preacher. ‘Youth’, ‘Eg Vetsje’, and ‘Hvem Skal Tro På Deg Nå’ are key tracks in rounding out the album. Certainly, those into groups such as Real Big Fish, The Specials, or anything put out by 2 Tone Records, will be rapt with Razika.