Scandinavia, as a region, seems to have a knack for producing soft-voiced but passionate rock & roll, whether it's the easy listening grooves of the Cardigans or the fragile '80s highs of a-ha, to name two of many bands.
Another in the long list of groups fitting that description appeared in the late '90s with Poor Rich Ones, a Norwegian band based out of Bergen around singer/guitarist William, guitarist Espen, bassist Tor, and drummer Ludwig. Originally coming together as a quartet, the band received much attention in its home country with Naivety's Star, a rough but promising debut recorded in an old apartment. The follow-up, From the Makers of Ozium, broke the group into the Norwegian big time, earning the group the equivalent of the Grammy and scoring a variety of hit singles. Influences from a number of recent U.K. acts were apparent, most especially Radiohead, making Poor Rich Ones a bit of a cousin to the similarly inspired Swedish act Kent. 1999 found the band working on a variety of projects, including film soundtracks and a loving nod to the past, via a cover of a-ha's "Hunting High and Low," while 2000 brought a new full album, Happy Happy Happy. Espen left "on sabbatical" after the recording of said album, while the group continued as a trio, securing an American release of Happy Happy Happy in 2001. ~ Ned Raggett, Rovi