. issue XVI : vii .

. artist : spids nøgenhat .
. album : kommer med fred .
. year : 2013 .
. label : bad afro .
. grade : b plus .


Spids Nøgenhat‘s origins go back to ’98 when Henrik “Hobitten” Klitstrøm, Morten “Aron” Larsen and Uffe “Aramis” Lorenzen (Lorenzo Woodrose) were doing their thing with On Trial. That outfit proved fertile, spawning Ghost Rocket, Dragontears, Aron, Blind Owl & Good Spirits and, of course, Baby Woodrose. Spids Nøgenhat’s new release, Kommer Med Fred, though recorded in only three days, has no residue of being banged out or of a tossed-off side project. They released their first album in ’01 and found themselves resuscitated in ’09 by ‘public demand,’ now with Anders “Moody Guru” Skjødt and Anders “Fuzz Daddy” Grøn from the original line-up of Baby Woodrose, along with Sebastian “Zeppo” Bülow. A live album (De Sidste Her På Jorden) from their showing at Roskilde Festival was the next breath of life that led to Kommer Med Fred.

Seven originals and one cover—the first-class “Den Gennemsigtige Mand” by Danish band Furekåben—shimmer with an acoustic-leaning spacey vibe that bears the unmistakable mark of Baby Woodrose, but is certainly its own creature and exhales its own haze and aura. The songs have an open, breezy life-force all their own that welcome and lure you in, even if you hastily think the Danish vocals are going to prove to be an obstacle for unfamiliar ears. Though free of any amped barn burners or overt scorch, Kommer Med Fred still teems with a shimmering vitality that is as exhilarating as it is easy on the ears’ digestive system. The acoustic framework is laden with electric sparks (“Mere Lys,” “Lolland Falster“) and prudent flourishes that keep the dreamy atmosphere afloat, but which don’t unfasten the album from an earthy, almost homespun feeling. Both trippy and grounded, Spids Nøgenhat uses the resulting benefit of accessibility to their advantage, keeping the songs front and center without any showy display of power or hollow camouflage.

With Woodrose in one of the chairs, it’s impossible to overlook what he brings to the table. There is his savvy songwriting, of course, and his distinct gravelly vocals. Both on full display here, fans of Baby Woodrose or any other place he’s left his fingerprints won’t be disappointed. Worked into this setting, those patent vocals take on even more wizened and world-weary persona that plays up the feeling of melancholy and longing that worms through the album. Kommer Med Fred isn’t just another stellar product from Woodrose. It’s a first-class album, and ride, from Spids Nøgenhat … a band that may have started as a side-project, but that sounds as committed as they come.

by Mr. Atavist