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Week 45

Issue 35 - Updated 30th October 2004

Release of the week

Strung Out

·Other albums this week

Alu / David Neuer / Death Du Jour / DJ Ordeal / Language of Flowers / Mark Mandeville / Peter Mandic / Raianne Richard / The Haywards / Trés / Vittorio Vandelli / Volenté

Singles/EP’s this week

Belle Park / Pretty Flowers


·         All releases are out now unless otherwise noted

·         All reviews written by Hans Jákup Eiðisgarð


Release of the week:


Strung Out; Exile In Oblivion

Fat Wreck Chords

Strung Out was one of the earliest signings to the Fat Wreck Chords and as a band they’ve been running from 1992. It’s getting better and better as they go and their last album, “An American Paradox”, debuted on number 186 on “Billboards Top 200 Album Chart.” It’s hard to say if “Exile In Oblivion” will do as well the first week after its release (time will tell I guess), but it’s a fact that Strung Out have prepared as well as they possibly can. Matt Hyde who has produced for the likes of Slayer, Hatebreed and Sum 41 is producer and engineer on the album, but don’t expect Strung Out to have gone metal or pop-punk though. Expect more of their straightforward punk both with delicious melodic moments as well as harder ones. (JJJJJ-) Release date: 1st November 2004


Other albums this week:


Alu; Infomercial Gasmask


Tired of the same music being played over and over again on MTV, the local radio-station, at the club or wherever? Well, you should really check out Alu (and a lot of other interesting and original artists we have reviewed over the years). There’s no way in Hell that Alu will ever be a pop-star, although she is really good looking, sings like an angel and is really talented, but then again no one would ever have believed that Bjørk, Portishead or Massive Attack would become top of the pops material, would they? And a cross between the aforementioned artists is really the closest description that I can come up with. Spice things even more up, Alu has even mixed in jazz and classical elements into her trip-hop/dark electronica universe, which ultimately makes this an even greater effort. (JJJJ--) 


David Neuer; Mr. Anybody’s Anthems


David Neuer was born in New Zealand in 1971 but has been living in Denmark since he was two. Before this he has released a lot of full-lengths and EP’s (a handful of each at least). Personally I’ve never even heard about him before, which isn’t strange because his music is not something that would be played on the radio through the day (perhaps on some obscure radio-program at four o’clock in the morning. Aren’t those often the best programs by the way???). There’s definitely a strange and rather left-wing approach to David Neuer’s music – sort of like with artists like The Danielson Family and Half-Handed Cloud, but there’s also elements of Johnny Cash (especially vocally) and David’s own major influences Tom Waits and Nick Cave. Definitely one for the adventurous ones. (JJJJ--)


Death Du Jour; Fragments of Perdition

Golden Lake Productions

This is the only metal-addition to the review-section this week. Having formed in 2000, Finnish Death Du Jour finally release their first full-length through Golden Lake Productions although having released an EP previously. These guys play their fast and furious metal well. It’s technically skilled and quite refreshing when it comes varying the sound with tempo-changes and stuff like that. You may have heard something along the lines of this before, but these Finnish guys don’t shy away from most extreme metal these days. Quite good for a debut. (JJJJ--)


DJ Ordeal; John

Sparticus Stargazer

If you read last weeks issue of this very webzine, you must have realised that there were four singles by DJ Ordeal reviewed and this is the LP that I mentioned DJ Ordeal had released... And as with his singles, this is not something that is for everyone, blending in sampled orchestral refrains and rhythms, bell chimes and more while taking in the best pieced of film-score history on-board along the way. Truly not you everyday music, but still, in a way, if looking through the eyes of television, it is. (JJJJ--)


Language of Flowers; Songs About You


This is delicious female fronted indie-pop. It’s so sweet at catchy that it’s almost impossible not to like. It starts out with delicious guitar-work sounding not too unlike The Edge from U2 and from there they come up with one nifty song after another. Overall I’d say this is sort of a mix of U2, The Smiths and Sixpence None The Richer. You get the idea right? So, it’s not much sense in going on then? Check them out at: (JJJJ--) 


Mark Mandeville; Leaf Tornado

Nobody’s Favorite Records

Musically this is definitely related to that of co-Nobody’s Favorite Records’ artist Raianne Richard reviewed elsewhere in this issue. This is also a stripped down acoustic-based lo-fi folk-pop album recorded on a four-track. The press-release almost killed me claiming that there was a little bit of Britney Spears in there, because everybody knows that sex sells. Ha ha. Good one. Of course, there’s no Britney Spears here, but there are songs about driving and loneliness, only written in a more clever manner than usually within pop-music these days. (JJJJ--)  


Peter Mandic; Peter Mandic


After having immigrated to Canada from Sydney, Australia as a kid, Peter Mandic picked up his guitar and started to play and after learning how to play “Stairway To Heaven” Peter found out that this was what he was going to do. Now, some years alter, Peter is finally out with his self-released debut-CD worth of 11 tracks of singer/songwriter and storytelling quality. His often acoustic pop-rock sound combined with country, Americana and folk might very well be something that you’ve heard before, but at the same time it’s also easily that would be well worth hearing all over again. (JJJJ--)


Raianne Richards; Raianne Richards

Nobody’s Favorite Records

With a name sounding like someone straight out of Nashville, Raianne Richards is actually somewhere entirely different with her music, although her voice would probably sound great on a country recording, Raianne Richards walks in the footsteps of other Nobody’s Favorite Records’ artists that have gone before her, releasing her debut-album worth of self-made lo-fi material recorded on a four-track. There’s loads of talent here and considering the fact that she’s only 19 (18 when recording this) and that she has recorded an as mature album as this, one can only wonder where she’ll be going next. (JJJJ--) 


The Haywards; Scene Missing

Ionik Records

A Charming CD this... It has that 60s pop sound all over it. It has quite a few things in common with The Beatles and what makes The Haywards even more interesting in my book is that the production really sounds much like it would have if it was recorded in the 60s. There’s no bullshit here. It’s like going back in time. For fans of beautiful and authentic acoustic rock. (JJJJ--)


Trés; Writing On The Wall

Bent Music

Here’s the debut-album from this Canadian woman (if I am not mistaken). I didn’t receive a press-release with this album so I can’t tell you much about it and the labels’ webpage doesn’t have any info on it yet, so I am left empty-handed with this one. But of course there’s the music, which is classic rock with a touch of country and blues. She plays her guitar well and sings in a convincing bluesy and soulful kind of way, which suits her well. It’s good stuff but it misses that extra spark to truly make an impact. (JJJ---)


Vittorio Vandelli; A Day Of Warm Rain In Heaven

Equilibrium Records

There are probably those of you who recognise the name Vittorio Vandelli and to those of you who don’t, I can tell you that he’s a talented composer and guitarist who’s tread his shoes in well-known band Ataraxia with whom he has released numerous CDs. This is his first solo-project and taken the medieval/neoclassical gothic style he’s flirting with, I must say that he’s getting away with it just fine. Oftentimes CDs like this just tend to get boring after a while, but this one keeps growing on me. (JJJJ--)


Volenté; Cold Clear

Dockrad Records

Those of you who read through these pages every week have noticed there have been a few reviews of releases from original and exciting Welsh label, Dockrad Records, and Volenté is another artist to add to that list. Just like the other artists reviewed previously, Volenté isn’t exactly top of the pops material and I mean that in a good way. She’s sort of a cross between Faroese Eivør Pállsdóttir and Icelandic Bjørk. Not only musically, the image also reflects some of the same things like the strange hair, the all-white (including the clothes) cover-art and stuff like that... And of course the music also has a lot of those cold, Nordic elements in it and the voice is also similar in places. I must admit, however, that Volenté, although a very good singer and obviously talented, is still somewhat short of the excellence of the aforementioned artists, but she very might be getting there. (JJJ---) 


Singles/EP’s this week:


Belle Park; Different Pill


Belle Park is an independent band based out of London that picks up on the current British piano/guitar indie-rock that’s currently dropping on us like rain. Keene have been doing a great job at this sort of thing lately, and although it’s not fair to compare Belle Park to Keene since they really don’t sound that much alike, I still must say that Belle Park are doing a good job at this sort of thing too. “Different Pill” is a song that I easily could see climbing the charts if ending up in the right hands. (JJJJ--) 


Pretty Flowers; Pretty Flowers

Bananaseat Records

Pretty Flowers are a new Brooklyn-based punk-rock band who mix garage rock and indie into their sound. Their first four-track EP is quite a catchy bastard, really. I totally dig the catchy chorus of “It’s Not My Fault” – it’s quite addictive. Song-titles like “Laura’s Bush” and “Slut” should say a little on some topics these two-guys-and-a-girl cover. The only down-side to this is the production and an occasional out-of-tune vocal-line. (JJJ---) 


Hans Jakup Eidisgard, PO BOX 38, FO-470 Eidi, Faroe Islands, Via Denmark