Norwegian Arms Record Release Show at Johnny Brenda’s

Words and Photos By Brandee Nichols

On December 22nd, Norwegian Arms played their Mayan Apocalypse show at Johnny Brenda’s. Obviously, we all survived. The night also doubled as the often dubbed “freak folk” duo’s record release show. Wolf Like A Stray Dog was inspired by Brendan Mulvihill’s time spent in Siberia. You can read more about that here.

Joined by drummer Eric Slick and Laser Background’s Andy Molholt, Norwegian Arms played to a packed crowd with songs off of the new record as well as their EP, Trimming Of Hides. To put it simply, this was by far the best Norwegian Arms show I’ve ever been to. I think it’s safe to say that this was in large part to all of the time and hard work that went into this record and show. A highlight of the set was a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You.” As usual, it took me about halfway through the song to realize what was happening.

“I guess we didn’t die. How about that…” Mulvihill said as their set carried past midnight. And I’m glad we didn’t, because now I can listen to my newly purchased copy of Wolf Like A Stray Dog.

The openers for this show couldn’t have been picked better. Night Panther, Laser Background, and Pattern Is Movement were all on the bill.

Made up of members from White Birds and Drink Up Buttercup, the newly formed pop outfit, Night Panther, opened the show with their infectiously upbeat pop songs. With an LP in the works, this is definitely one band to keep an eye on.

Continuing with the recently (as in earlier this year) formed band theme, Andy Molholt’s latest project Laser Background was up next. Between their eccentric psych-pop songs and lighting effects, this set was a lot to take in, but in a good way. Their debut EP can be streamed here, and I recommend taking a listen.

The third opener of the night was indie rock duo Pattern Is Movement. Everything about this set was beautiful and mesmerizing. That’s really the only way I can describe it. They played only new songs, and with an album to be released some time in 2013, the timing couldn’t have been better to attract anticipation.