Torgeir Waldemar – No Offending Borders (Jansen Records)

Genre – Folk rock

Torgeir Waldemar took the Norwegian people and music press by surprise with his eponymous debut album in 2014.

Who would have thought that the black-clad, longhaired, bearded rocker could deliver an album that captivated and moved as much as it did?

While his previous album cultivated a pure, acoustic sound, No Offending Borders brings rock music to the table, and for Torgeir Waldemar nothing is more natural, due to his background as a guitar hero in various bands.

Last month the bearded Norwegian took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to RUSHONROCK about the album, and he summed it up very simply – fans ‘can expect more. More guitars, more band, more sadness and loneliness, desperation, more anger, more symphonic and more politics.’

Unlike many 2017 albums that find themselves interwoven with politics, No Offending Borders doesn’t talk about referendums or Trump. No, no, no… that would be for too obvious for Torgeir – he deeply explores WWl and challenges us to ‘point back and be conscious of our past.’

Throughout the album, Torgeir links this to the modern day world, modern states, the reduction in poverty and how, if these systems fail, people will turn against governments.

Torgeir’s link to the past may be entirely deliberate, but the introduction of electric guitar was more natural – much like it was for Bob Dylan 52 years ago, when he strapped on an electric axe and released Like A Rolling Stone.

In 1965 Dylan was heralded ‘a spokesman for a generation.’ Waldimar may not be on the same playing field as one of the greatest song writers of all time, but his political folk shares many similarities to Dylan’s first electric album.

These similarities are heard in the raw, passionate vocals that guide his natural riffs in tracks like Souls On A String, The Bottom Of The Well and I See The End. This mid-sixties influence is carried through to Sylvia (Southern People), which is heavily reminiscent of the dirty blues riffs the Stones where churning out over half a century ago, except for modern production and a delightfully Continental solo to wrap it up.

No Offending Borders is a truly brilliant folk rock album, that’s delectably infused with simple, but highly effective percussion and a gentle balance between acoustic and electric guitar. Fans that adored his debut should not be put off by the introduction of the electric guitar – it feels natural, and it’s very subtle in its approach.

RUSHONROCK RATED – 9.5/10 I’m a rambler, I’m a gambler!