Review

Hedvig Mollestad Weejuns

Weejuns

Rune Grammofon • 2023

Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen should be known in this country not only for her work with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, but also for her sovereign electric guitar playing, which works like a feather duster on two very different genre concepts: jazz and heavy metal. Until recently, the Norwegian was still touring with the Hedvig Mollestad Trio, alongside which she also formed another trio called the Hedvig Mollestad Weejuns. The debut album is also confusingly called »Weejuns« and was recorded live at various locations. She is heading in a new direction with the new trio: less monumental psych-rock sound, more spherical sound experiments. Even brute guitar parts blend subtly into the interplay with Ståle Storløkken from Supersilent (keyboards) and Ole Mofjell (percussion). Right from the start, »Go at your peril« contains the album’s instantly memorable climax, a 7/8 time riff that leads into an equally rousing solo by Storløkken on the Hammond organ. The same riff is taken up again on the penultimate track (»Stay at your peril«) and carried even further – here, too, the record demonstrates its dramaturgical sensibility. On the star-shimmering »Pity the city«, you think you can hear horns. »Hug that tree« with its prominent, nervous drums sounds like a breakcore quote, and on »Come Monday« Rhodes piano and electric guitar paint a picture of an eerie dystopia resplendent with howling and dripping sounds. Time and again, »Weejuns« also exhibits strong cinematic traits. It is Thomassen’s most exciting work to date because it unravels such a special filigree of associations.