A diverse and demanding offering from the Norwegian pair
On Music for Working Out, Aiming for Enrike has managed to subvert all genre-based expectations. No matter what fringe sub-genre you may or may not be expecting to hear, you’ll probably get more than a little bit of that and a whole lot of other sounds that you weren’t prepared for. However, because Aiming for Enrike generally executes their musical ideas with precision and plenty of style, these experiments work to the band’s advantage.
While the opener, “Christmas Eve,” is a bit of a tepid start compared to many of the other tracks, the destruction really begins on tracks two and three, “Don’t Hassle the Hoff” and “Infinity Rider.” This one-two punch fits into the tracklist beautifully, and everything about these tracks individually is fantastic. On both, Aiming for Enrike perfects one of their defining characteristics, which is the ability to build up the track with comparatively mundane production choices, and ratchet every aspect of the track to a ten on the latter half, once your ears are completely glued to the music. The group creates this tension and energy primarily through layering diverse rhythms on top of one another.
The group transitions into the deep exploration of a more electronic-leaning sound on “Hard Dance Brainia,” “Diving Within,” and “Flat Beats.” While these three aren’t quite as uniquely compelling as tracks two and three, the less demanding nature of these songs allows for a satisfying reprieve from the intensity of the first few. On “Undead Horse of Thunder and Metal,” the group leans back into their original sound from earlier on this project, without quite the same rhythmic vigor. The track is primarily propped up by an excellent guitar refrain and is still extremely entertaining. The project concludes with “Ponzu Saiko” and “Spice Girls.” “Ponzu Saiko” is the most mathy song on Music for Working Out, providing amazing Hella-esque buildup, lovely drums and guitar, and a really nice layer of noise during the latter half of the song. Finally, “Spice Girls” ends the project much like how it began, with a milder take on the group’s generally amazing sound.
While there is a lot of great music here, the project feels held back by the weak opener and closer. On some musical projects, it can make sense to ease into a more experimental sound. However, because Aiming for Enrike does a fresh build-up and payoff for the musical tension they create on most of these individual songs, these lukewarm bookends feel a bit unnecessary. Aside from this minor structural issue, Aiming for Enrike’s Music for Working Out is an undeniable win for the Norwegian pair.