Category Archives: poppy

Sieben * As They Should Sound (cd 2009)

As They Should SoundI like the idea behind this album: after having played them live hundreds of times, thought them over, etc., Matt Howden decided to rerecord some songs “as they should sound”. The album contains some songs that I already had, some not, but all are the better tracks and indeed, they sound better too. Some sort of ‘best of’ for old and new fans and with nice artwork.
Links: Sieben / Redroom

Ostara * The Only Solace (cd 2009)

The Only SolaceI heard that the new Ostara would be ‘back to basics’. I heard a few Myspace tracks and was not really convinced. It is the old minimalistic neofolk style. The album as a whole is a bit better than expected. Most songs are the minimalistic neofolk style, some of them are nice, some are just alright. There are a few more poppy songs and some songs have some nice additions in violin (Matt Howden) or other instruments. I guess this cd is for people who long for the days of “Secret Homeland” (not not Strength Through Joy, the ‘wayback machine’ did not go that far). I like those early albums mostly because they were surprising at the time of release, but “The Only Solace” does not bring anything really new and not all songs are great, so… just a nice album I guess.
Links: Ostara, Trisol

Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio * O N A N I (Practice Made Perfect) (2008)

O N A N IFirst released as a 12″, then as a picture 12″ and upcoming on cd and cd+dvd comes the new album of ORE. This album immediately sounds a bit different from earlier achievements. The sound is softer, more melancholic, the guitar loops are almost gone (or with effects). After a few listenings, the album still does not really work for me. It is a bit too soft and the crazy, bombastic, industrial, martial, etc. elements all seem to be lost and we are left with atmospheric music with male and female vocals. Perhaps musically “Onani” is a step forward. There are no longer the obvious looped samples and repetitions, but it seems that this had to give away to the atmosphere somewhat. Maybe I have to listen to this album some more before things start to fall in their place.
Links: Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Cold Meat Industry

A Challenge Of Honour * No Way Out (cd 2008 steinklang)

No Way OutWith each new release of ACOH I ask myself whether or not I have to buy it. Most of the older material did not survive the years and most newer material is not too good. I am afraid that for “No Way Out” the same goes. Steinklang says that this release presents a new side of the project “the album would be best described as a pure Neo(Pop)Folk album with many Neoclassical and some Martial elements”. Well, the sound has changed a bit indeed. There seem to be some wave influences and more poppy drumming, but “many neoclassical and some martial elements”? I am afraid that I have to describe the sound and softly poppy and slighly cheesy and however I admire Peter for again leaving the obvious path, his musical taste (or efforts) drift away from mine.
Links: ACOH, Steinklang

Dernière Volonté * La Nuit Revient (10″ 2008 hau ruck!)

La Nuit RevientThis is almost a joke! For more than the price of a cd you get a large single with two tracks (45 rpm). The title track should have been released under the monicker Position Parallele and the other is just a replay of “Tout a Disparu”, but halfway it switches to disco mode with a rather boring sound. Of course it is not totally unexpected that Dernière continues its development in sound, but I hoped that with the (not really bad) disco sideproject Position Parallele, Dernière would at least have remained some kind of military pop sound. Rather it seems that both projects mingle. Of course I had to get used to earlier sound development of this French project, but “La Nuit Revient” is a lot worse than I feared on initial listening.

Position Parallèle * s/t (cd 2007 hau ruck!)

Position Parallèle are Geoffry D. and Pierre Pi. The first is of course better known as Dernière Volonté, the second seems to have been involved in the same project in the earlier days. It is not totally unexpected that Geoffry D. took his accessible sound a step further and leave the “military” sound behind. Position Parallèle became a disco cd, or better said: a synthypop cd, because some songs remind of New Order or Soft Cell and I can promise you, the sound is as ‘faulty’ as the cover! Very recognisable are Geoffry’s vocals, but the sound differs a lot from DV as you can imagine. The cd turned out nice. It is not as good as ‘that other recent disco cd’ “Magic” of November Növelet, but it is a nice listening. A bit of a short one though, 35 minutes.
Oh, a nice joke has been made with the Hau Ruck! logo on the cd.
Links: Position Parallèle, Hau Ruck!.

Comando Suzie / Ô Paradis (split 7″ 2007 punch records)

Ô Paradis, a band that seems to be rather popular in the wake of other experimental folky bands such as Novy Svet. I don’t really like Ô Paradis, but then again, I didn’t have anything of them (not downloaded). Since I didn’t know Comando Suzie at all, I figured I would just order this 7″ and gave both bands a change. Well, two times ‘Latino folkpop’ or however you should describe it. Easy-to-listen and slightly folky music with Spanish lyrics. Funny, but not really my thing.
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Links: Comando Suzie, Ô Paradis, Punch Records

Victoria * Homo Rattus (7″ 2001 erebus odora)

Yes I know this review is very late, but it took me a while to get myself one of the 800 copies of this 7″. For those also looking for it, I just got my copy from Tesco, so you may want to try them as well. It is said there is a new 800-copies-7″ coming up.
To the few who don’t know Victoria, I can say that this is a project by the male halves of Arcana and ORE, released by Peter Pettersson (Arcana/Sophia) on his own Erebus Odora label. Side A is a nice ORE-like song called “This Carnival Of Light” but the best reason to buy this 7″ is a crazy jazz/bossanova/60’ies song on side B called “Like Rats Rattus Rattus”.
But don’t worry if you are not able to find a copy, the “Like Rats” song can be downloaded as mp3 from the Erebus Odora site. <13/4/02><4>

Tempesta Noire * The Outset For… (7″ 1999 rosenfeuer productions)

Tempesta Noire is a very good upcoming folkband from Germany. So far they release three demos and two 7″s and they appeared on a handfull of compilations. The early releases where very folk-oriented, the later releases become more ‘poppy’ with every new disc. This also goes for “The Outset For…” which shows how poppy folkmusic can actually be. I don’t like this as much as I do the older releases, but it is still pretty good and I hope that this band will find a proper label to release a cd on soon.

Spiritual Front * Armageddon Gigolo (cd 2006 trisol)

Somewhere in June I ordered this cd, but something caused a long delay. Meanwhile I have seen the band live in Bochum (Germany), a good show, but in a too small venue with way to many people. Spiritual Front sounded more ‘poppy’ and indeed the same goes for the new album. I have always liked the fact that Spiritual Front do exactly what they want. From a strange kind of neofolk to a more melancholic sound with weird jazz-samples, amusing crazy sounds and now slightly more ‘poppy’. “Armageddon gigolo” is a magnificent album! Catchy melodies, bossanova and samba rhythms, Spanish sounds, a great string session (including Matt Howden), a melancholic undertone. Definitely more accessible than previous recordings and I am sure that the band with punch through to a larger audience. Still the sick sense of humour is present, ‘shocking’ artwork and lyrics (explicit sex and other taboos) (in a great digipack by the way), so the fans of old will probably not have to turn their backs. I don’t for sure! The ultimate “suicide pop” album! (13/9/06)