Finding a suitable name for a rock group can be a real challenge. After exploring the possibilities of names such as Standing Ovation and Goddamnit, the three young Norwegians Frode Flatland (bass), Kristian Stockhaus
(vocals, guitar), and Øyvind Solheim (drums) finally settled on Ungdomskulen, which simply means "middle school" in the boys' native language.
The trio was formed in 2003, but the boys had been playing music together since the late '90s, sharing a mutual interest in artists such as Sonic Youth
, and Beck
. By the time Standing Ovation was formed, Swedish-born Kristian Stockhaus
had already released two solo albums to critical acclaim. Flatland and Solheim had been his backing band, but now they wanted to try something new. They wanted to create a hyper-energetic and different power trio. Based in Bergen, the group quickly gained a reputation as an extraordinary live act, primarily in their hometown, and later in the rest of Norway as well as Europe. Their debut album, Cry-Baby, was released worldwide in the autumn 2007 on the U.K. label Ever Records. The album included a challenging mix of musical styles, such as new wave, indie rock, prog, and Zappa
-influenced avant-garde rock. It instantly raised a few eyebrows, especially among critics working for influential music magazines such as Uncut, New Musical Express, and Kerrang! ~ Ketil Mosnes