Exploding Customer - At Your Service

Bill Meyer, DownBeat

There's nothing like busking to beef up your tone, and doing it near the Arctic Circle amplifies the benefits. Exploding Customer's founder and chief composer, Martin Küchen, shows plenty of muscle on his saxophones; his alto playing is tart and nimble, his tenor as bracing as a Baltic squall. He also brings plenty else to this quartet's music, and the rest of the band doesn't sit back and let him do all the work.
He and trumpeter Tomas Hallonsten braid attractively lyrical lines between their earthy solos on "The Supply and Demand of Love and Hate", the penultimate and most lengthy performance on this mostly pithy disc. While both men can play it straight and make it count, each pushes the timbral possibilities of his respective horn; it sounds like Küchen has something metallic shoved down the bell of his alto on "Wars", obtaining a saber-parrying rattle, while Hallonsten fashions an eerie statement from misshapen growls and attenuated high notes on "Supply and Demand".
Bassis Benjamin Quigley and drummer Kjell Nordeson keep things grounded throughout with throbbing low-end pulse and crisp, maneuverable cymbal work. Küchen's writing is just as key in securing this music's accessibility. He makes no bones about fashioning tunes you can hum as well as blow, and covers a range of moods. "Cold Jewels" strikes a proud and stirring Iberian profile, and the playful "Who Serves the Servant?" punctuate breakneck groove statements with lusty shouting and whinnying cries. This is an excellent recording by a group in full command of its medium.