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The mighty Cumshots of Norway

By in Culture


VICTORIA MARTINEZ
Arts Writer

OSLO, Norway — The Cumshots is more than just a band name, it’s a mission statement. And when you’re a 20-year-old Canadian kid in Oslo, it’s something a lot like metal, though the natives call it hard rock, calling to mind— deceptively, thank God — Nickelback and Hedley.

The Encylopedia Metallum describes them as a death ‘n’ roll band, with not a hint of irony in either that or the website’s own title.

The shows are violent, the lyrics suicidal and the music like a harder Deep Purple. Yes, a metal Deep Purple on a Wednesday night in Oslo. A metal Deep Purple known as the Cumshots. None of this is a joke.

Kristopher Schau, lead singer, comedian and wildly successful writer, is simultaneously a parody of rock and its living embodiment. At shows, he comes on stage in a pink tuxedo shirt à la Keith Richards, and pours half a bottle of water on his face. There are three bottles of water and they will perform six songs; this guy knows the power of looking sweaty. The band rips through a violent interpretation of their biggest crowd pleaser, “Praying for Cancer.”

Schau, or Max Cargo onstage, takes off the pink shirt to reveal a steam-engine red wife-beater, the better to show off his rippling arms, which in turn is quickly soaked by the remaining water in the first bottle. He presses the mic to his neck and growls the lyrics.

Meanwhile, El Doom, the 10-gallon-hat-wearing guitarist, blasts through a technically impressive and aurally abusive riff.

Next up, “I Still Drink Alone,” and another layer of Schau’s clothing removed. His back features an oversized “GUILTY” across his shoulders. There’s more water spilled. The band crowds the drummer, who they call Chris Bartender, for a communal riff and Schau slam dances around the stage.

The audience is oddly calm and no mosh pit has formed, though this is probably more due to the Cumshots having followed the electro-pop CasioKids to the stage. Metalheads headbang and electrokids stand in an extreme case of awe-induced culture shock. Pretty, long-haired Norwegian girls push their way to the front.

“We all have our demons; mine is sobriety,” Doom, otherwise known as Ole Petter Andreassan, sings as opera, and the girls sing along.

Schau follows up by balancing the mic on his technicolour bicep and screams into it from that precarious position, then thrashes on. The set continues with wild guitar abuse and creative screaming techniques. Thankfully, Schau fails to remove any further clothing on the next song, or the songs following.

A piece of trivia: nudity has not always remained out of Cumshots shows (as might be expected). In 2004, two environmental activists stripped and had sex onstage during their show. In the fallout both Schau and Andreassen ended up with lawsuits and fines but very little other trouble. The male activist dropped his shorts in the courtroom.

With nearly 10 years of Norwegian notoriety, the band plans to explore new sounds, specifically, adding some country influence to the next album. It might be time to explore North American touring too.

It’s not a huge stretch to imagine the lanky power house that is Schau screaming alongside steel guitar from his rockabilly companions onstage, and, more than that, to imagine it being good. For all the tongue in cheek theatrics, the Cumshots are actually that good.

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photo: LP Lorentz

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