The dark, cold, impenetrable forests of southern Norway consist of miles upon miles of howling, unforgiving isolation, surrounded by an endless, frozen, angry sea. The members of viseMènn have emerged from months locked inside their recording studio deep within their homeland with their latest melody-drenched pop-rock earworm, “Give It All Up.” viseMènn translates to – you guessed it – “wise men,” and they’ve got the songs to back that kind of self-assured name up. Guitarist Lars Olav Mangelrød, keyboardist Sølve Eggebø, drummer Magnar Lofthus, and bassist / lead singer Helge Corneliussen first grabbed attention on both sides of the Atlantic a few years ago with their intense mid-tempo rocker “Begging You Please.” “Give It All Up” is an even catchier display of the band’s command of hooks and mood.
The guys can chalk up another win for what they call their “Philosopher Rock” with this high-energy, heartfelt gem. There’s a happy-sad vibe, a wistfulness in the verses that gives way to a sneakily big hook in the stutter-step choruses, where Corneliussen implores the listener to “Give it all up tonight.” That single extra word tacked on at the end gives the tune a “seize the moment” positivity that’s super contagious after just one go-round. The track culminates in a dreamy, melancholic synth and guitar solo that ties a bow on three minutes of perfect, pensive pop where nothing feels extra, and nothing is missed. viseMènn produced their latest full-length You Are themselves; mixing duties were handled by Cenzo Townsend, who’s pushed the faders for everyone from A-ha to The Kaiser Chiefs.
In what looks to be a small town event hall, the band holds court on stage while people of all ages dance along in ecstatic slo-mo. There’s a dreamlike atmosphere here: certainly not ethereal, it’s way more down to Earth, pleasant, idyllic. The band gives it their delightful all up there, lost in the performance. There are hot dogs for sale, so you know it’s a good time. We do, however, have two wallflowers in attendance who are sitting out the festivities, with eyes only for each other. Ultimately, a small flame ignites in the room. Is it the result of the young lovers’ barely-concealed desire? Or has a beloved, pipe-smoking village elder carelessly tossed a still-lit match, distracted by this music he doesn’t understand but is nevertheless totally into? Will everyone make it out alive? Of course they will! viseMènn aren’t that kind of band, and this isn’t that kind of song. So do your current mood a huge favor and pop this one on.