Razika – Program 9131 October 2012
Norwegian four-piece, Razika, offer always-uplifting pop rock with a strong ska influence. Tonally, they are a female, European incarnation of American hipsters Real Estate. Water-drop guitar licks and trebly rhythms doused in ceaseless reverb are just some shared features. Overall, Program 91 offers little in terms of 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 efficient, clever, and ridiculously catchy. At times, Program 91 can feel rather ‘90s ska (despite the genre’s origins being in ‘50s Jamaica), and a tad tacky—one bouncy track too similar to the boppy one before.
That said, it makes for a cohesive finished product. 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 Reel Big Fish and The Specials—or anything put out by 2 Tone Records—will be rapt with Razika.