Hey, Carbon Units… Orestes here, with some albums that we’ve been listening to. First two reviews come courtesy of Maestro Keefy, one is by Sam The Spam the rest are mine. Ta dah!!
Lavender Heart – Incorruptible Heart
Incorruptible Heart is a bit “lush” in the sense that though beautifully constructed played and produced, Incorruptible Heart tethers on the brink of middle of the road Radio 2 fodder. No bad thing, of course, in many listeners ears.
Becky Stark pens a great lyric but if the major themes of this record is a melancholic breakup where is the anguish. Well, it’s there ok but hidden beneath the gentle orchestration, warm Kate Bush-like vocals and measured leisurely ambience that sneaks up and enfolds you in a marshmallow comfort zone. Imagine one of those fancy mattresses that form themselves to your bodyshape? One for the fans I suspect but don’t take my word for it. – Keefy
Viv Albertine – The Vermillion Border
Over here, however, ex Slits guitarist Viv Albertine emerges from a marital break up to deliver The Vermillion Border, an album packed with the wisdom of one who has been there and done it.
Sparse and edgy her rather “posh” and airy vocals creep and sneer over razor sharp guitars. The overall feel is one of post-punk modernism and there is restrained authority in Albertine’s delivery . This is a real break up album, bitter and cutting. “Confessions of a MILF” anyone? If Lavender Diamond is a comfy mattress Viv Albertine is a bed of nails .Excellent!- Keefy.
The British IBM – The British IBM
That’s the sound of every nerd and geek combo crapping their pants, updating their software and changing their normal capacitors for ceramic ones (they are better, trust me). The British IBM may look one Members Only jacket short of being an 80s snapshot, but whatever they miss on the flair and swagger department, they make up with hooks and catchy beats (‘Animal’ is so delectable.)
‘the British IBM’ is such a revelation. The track gives you so much atmosphere while still keeping that pop mellowness to soothe your soul (all about the cello in the back). The self-titled album likes to veer from the upbeat, catchy rock tracks (‘Feeling’, the rocking ‘Cannibal’) to the more slow, fashion rock (‘Open your eyes’, ‘Sugar Water’). Sadly, it is too late to save Oscar Pike, we are sorry, dear friends. Please keep playing in honour of him and his fringe ideas. – Orestes “FREE Ronnie!” Xistos
Alpine those Myriads
Third album by this band and they best way I can describe it is: Musical. Now, I don’t know if you’re a fan of ’em grandiose musical theatre shows, but I do love ’em to bits. This feels right up the alley of Stephen Sondheim and Jim Steinman (the mack daddies of Rock Operas, if you ask me). ‘Hail to the fight’ might mislead you into believing this is an “epic metal” sort of affair, but no, it’s just the “overture” piece for this show. ‘Head wounds’ is the explosive initial chapter in this trip and I just love how it’s made up of little movements (love the piano and falsetto bits).
Then the seemingly Rock Opera does a very hard left turn. Can you smell the burning rubber? The angular bits start with ‘Dingy heart’, an electronics-heavy track that’s equal parts prog and musique concrete. ‘WG’ does it too, going for an unsettling ambient style that is rich in creepy atmospherics (love the reverse echo here!). Actually, this is not a Rock Opera as a I first asserted, instead, it’s a slice of experimental rock, equal parts rock and electronics, with an almost operatic voice that is a sure highlight in this convention of off-kilter experimentation. (more love in brackets!)- Orestes “Is that the wedding march?” Xistos.
Fantasy Rainbow – Bos Taurus
Playful and loud, so it goes for Fantasy Rainbow‘s ode to madness, Bos Taurus. A combination of feel good fuzzy pop with some serious love for guitar riffs, the 11 tracks offered by the band shine in the darkest, chilliest of nights (it’s freezing in Sheffield as I type this). ‘Condominium’ is such a math rock tune, sporting some glitchy sounds that pump up The Strange factor. ‘Nothing but’ is tremendous, starting as an indie ditty, but finishing with a proper rock tune, with a swagger-happy power chord being played over and over again.
‘Bread Biscuit’ is when the band decides to play it angular. The glacial pace of the track is juxtaposed with the Isaac Brock-like screams, making this a clear top choice in a rather enjoyable album that might seem sparsely populated by music (it’s not minimalistic) while still being pretty loud. Lovely one – Sam.