Exposé Online banner

Pogo Pops — Love Is the Greatest Compass
(Apollon Records APO18, 2017, LP)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-08-12

Love Is the Greatest Compass Cover art

If you’re yearning for the Golden Age of 80s pop-rock, when bands like The Church, Style Council, New Order, and Crowded House were at their peak and a catchy melody backed with jangly guitars and a hint of psychedelia wasn’t a sure ticket to oblivion, you’ll enjoy this offering from Pogo Pops, a Bergen band that’s been around for quite some time without making much of an impression outside Norway, though they’re regarded as a precursor and inspiration for bands like Kings of Convenience and Röyksopp. They released four albums in the 90s, then broke up, but reformed and resumed recording in 2009. Love Is the Greatest Compass is the third release from this second phase of the band, and their first on Apollon Records. Lead singer Frank Hammersland has a pleasant voice that often reminds me of Steve Kilbey of The Church, and the songs are all written intelligently, with a good balance of consistency and variety. The title track is a driving psych tune reminscent of Julian Cope, and "Curtains" is a trippy drone with dreamy keyboards and spaced-out effects. The album has a dreamy, sunny quality that is eminently listenable and should appeal to fans of the new wave of psych bands found on Mega Dodo and Fruits de Mer. And for this fan of avant-garde and experimental music, Pogo Pops provide a nice change of pace, a kind of palate cleanser free of dissonance and difficult sounds.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Pogo Pops

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Crimson Jazz Trio - King Crimson Songbook Volume 2 – The late Ian Wallace championed the completion of his trio’s second recording but never had the chance to hear the final fruits of his labor. Together with pianist Jody Nardine and bassist Tim...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues