When I met Boyfriend back in high school, there were a few things that we immediately bonded over: our mutual distaste for boiled mutton, our common interest in exploring third base, and our appreciation for the awesome band Kaizer’s Orchestra. To this day, these remain some of the strongest points of agreement between us. As the first two are rather self-explanatory, I’ll skip ahead to the third one. Not to say this one isn’t also self-explanatory for those who’ve heard Kaizer’s music. They have a really distinct sound, and I guess they fit in the alternative rock category. Their lyrics are usually dark and twisted, always open for interpretation, and all in Norwegian. Despite the language barrier this poses for many fans, the band has been succesful even outside of Scandinavia. I think that in itself speaks volumes about their excellence.
One of their first hits was the riveting “Kontroll på Kontinentet“, which tells the story of a mafia boss who fakes his own death and funeral in order to figure out who among his subjects has betrayed him. As she confesses her sins over his coffin, he learns that his sister is the snitch. The story does not end well for her.
The following albums kept on telling the stories about this mafia family, as well as stories of war, russian roulette, and more. One of my personal favourites is the calm and lovely “Christiania”, the story of a man who is being interrogated by the police for what I presume is a murder. In the chorus he states over and over that he won’t say another word until he get’s a lawyer. Beautiful. Have a listen below.
In 2010, the band released the first of three albums (the last of which will be released this fall), that introduces a new Kaizer era, storywise. This trilogy of albums have left the mafia behind, instead focusing on a new group of characters: Violeta, her father Kenneth and her mother Beatrice. Many years ago, Kenneth kidnapped his daughter and they’re still on the run from Beatrice, who’s pretty much completely insane and trying to find them.
One of Kaizer’s all-time greatest hits is “Hjerteknuser” (heartbreaker), a song that illustrates the longing Violeta feels for her mother. In the song “Drøm videre, Violeta” (dream on, Violeta), the girl is reminiscing about her childhood, when her family was whole and happy. Don’t feel too bad for her though, it turns out daddy’s right to keep Violeta away from her mother. The song “Den romantiske tragedien” (the romantic tragedy) describes how mother and daughter is standing on the roof of a building, Beatrice planning to step over the edge and urging her daughter to do the same.
Now if you’ll excuse me, Boyfriend is home for the weekend, and we’re gonna go enjoy our common interests, while not eating boiled mutton. I’ll leave you on your own to enjoy the music (and to google translate the lyrics).