Reviews - week 6

In this week's issue the reviews have rather a Worldwide feel to them, in that the bands I'm reviewing are from Italy & Brazil... So pack your bags and get your passport ready and don't forget to stock up on cheap wine and cigarettes. You ready? Ok. Let's travel!!

The Thermal Sink [Mk II] Cover

Frozen Fracture

The Thermal Sink [Mk II] - EP-CDr

(Under My Bed Recordings)

The first stop I believe is Italy where the lovely people at Under My Bed Recordings release things by a band of post rock loving Italian boys called The Frozen Fracture. The band itself is made of two members- Stefano and Lorenzo. They formed during the winter of 97. Since then, they changed the format of the band from an acoustic to a electric guitar band and supported Do Make Say Think in Milan.

The cd itself is a 7 track mini-album, and the band have a distinctly wintery sound to them. The guitars are complex and beautiful and like a snow storm - although they seem heavy at first, after a while they seem to fade into the background and drift away into the winter. Just like snow, the beauty and majesty of it melts away; but unlike the snow the great thing about this cd is you can play it over and over again untill the winter comes and we can gather around a warm fire and watch the snow fall together and play this cd, in the hope it might stay beautiful forever.

As I left the snowy fields of Italy behind I felt a little low. I knew it was time to move onto warmer climates and where is warmer than... Brazil! I went to Brazil in the vain hope of tracking down Pastel, the lead singer from the lounge, boss nova cover band Pastel Vespa.

L' Anarchie Cover

Pastel Vespa

L' Anarchie - Cd Lp

(Siesta)

On the cruise ship the music seemed to fit the rather 60's nature of the whole boating experience. Pastel Vespa is like nothing you would have heard before. Imagine you're enjoying a cruise and you're sitting in the bar with a gin and tonic, then you hear the familiar tones of a pop classic drifting your way - let's say, Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus. On first hearing you think "I know this song - marvellous!" Then you realise, "Since when did Teenage Dirtbag have a boss nova keyboard beat to it? Since when was it sung by a rather pretty Brazilian woman who has terrible trouble saying Iron Maiden, but hey, who cares: it sounds great nonetheless.

This is what Pastel Vespa are - cabaret but fantastic. They remind me of other notable cabaret style pop acts such as Kikki & Herb (who are famous for their version of Fox In The Snow by Belle and Sebastian). The versions of the songs on this CD sound so fantastic and often make the original song sound alot different than you remember it, and sometimes even making old pop greats sound that little bit more pop. Surely that can only be a good thing.

I don't think I'll ever be able to listen to Anarchy In The UK again without thinking of the great French Pastel Vespa version... They certainly are a band with vision of sorts.

As I disembarked the boat on the shores of Brazil I felt my job complete. I had found Pastel Vespa playing on the boat and I felt relieved that my job here for the friends of the heroes was complete. I sort of missed rainy English weather and fish and chips, so with Anarchy In The UK ringing in my head I flew home and sat in my conservatory dreaming of where my travels will take me next in the search for nice original music...

David Strange

 

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