Exactly how do you make technical and tricky hardcore appeal to kids brought up in the high sheen pop era typified by shows like T4? Well, despite the Google-unfriendly name, Norway’s 22 may just have hit upon the answer with their ambitious debut album.
The influence of The Blood Brothers casts a giant shadow across the unpredictably twitchy stabs of guitar that Flux is built on, skittering like spiders and clinging onto a punk rawness that bows at the altar of Seattle. So far, so plaid-shirt hipster underground.
But 22 have a secret weapon in the shape of frontman Fox. For all their complex math-rock rhythms and prog wig-outs, his clear, resonant voice is so purely pop it can’t help but draw in a wider, and younger, audience. None of this is accidental. With its sci-fi synths and big, starry-eyed chorus, Disconnecting From The Grid is snapping shamelessly at the heels of Muse, while Kneel Estate almost sneaks an R&B vibe into the mix.
In this era of shuffled iPods and debundled albums, musical genres rub up against each other in a manner unimaginable over a decade ago. 22 create a mixed musical palette well suited to the times.