Misc. Reviews

Hurra Torpedo's kitchens of distinction

Search for "fucked up Norwegians" on www.youtube.com, and the name Hurra Torpedo tops the ranks. Eleven years after the trio performed a cover of Bonnie Tyler's multiplatinum hit "Total Eclipse of the Heart" on a national television program, the clip has surfaced online and shot this Torpedo into Internet cult stardom.

Hurra Torpedo literally stir the pot with Tyler's dramatic ballad — the video begins with Kristopher Schau with a spoon in his cookware as guitarist Aslag Guttormsgaard sings in accented English and Egil Hegerberg slams an industrial cooler for a beat. As the song builds, Schau punctuates especially dramatic moments by smashing a mike stand into a stove, his pants sliding south to expose peachy butt cheeks.

Despite the band's niche in the narrow field of culinary music, its whole appliances-as-instruments thing didn't start as a gimmick. In another video clip, Schau explains that group was based in the most run-down sector of Oslo, so it was left to use discarded noisemakers of the non-stick variety because that's what was most readily available. Of course, found-object masters like Einstürzende Neubauten may have had some influence on the Norwegians, but Hurra Torpedo infuses its work with a sense of humor not typically found with its German compatriots. (Neubauten frontman Blixa Bargeld isn't generally known for dropping trou on stage.)

As Hurra Torpedo's kitchenware collection grows, so does its fanbase, and these days the group delights in performing unexpected covers along with its original material. (Recent shows have featured an agitated rendition of "All the Things She Said" from the faux-lesbian one-hit wonders Tatu.)

Now that the members have steady tour income, they're spending it on some very Yankee appliances — like a $1,400 gas stove — although they've also posted a call for donations on their MySpace page: "More freezers needed!"

From the looks of it, though, don't expect Hurra Torpedo to chill out any time soon.

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