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|1. Am I Wry? No|
|3. Snow Brigade|
|5. Behind the Drapes|
|6. Her Voice Is Beyond Her Years|
|7. "Eight Flew Over, One was Destroyed"|
|8. She Came Home for Christmas|
|9. She Spider|
|10. Comforting Sounds|
A little over the top ? Perhaps, but I have been listening to Mew for several months now after seeing them live with Martin Gretch in Manchester. I had no idea who Mew were, but live they were absolutely riveting. I went away thinking I had heard something special. When I finally got 'Frengers' I was still uncertain, had I drunk too much at the concert ?, was I swept up in the occasion ?
All my doubts were blown away from the first power chords of 'Am I Wry? No' through to the final single chord ending of 'Comforting Sounds'. Not a weak track, each one with a quirk of it's own, whether it's the mysterious chants of '156' during the same-titled song, the haunting 'Symmetry', or the incredibly catchy and moving 'She Came Home for Christmas' - each track soars into your head and heart.
I would also say Mew are best listened to now, at this time of year (Autumn-going into winter) - there is an edge of melancholy and mood that suits the falling leaves, the dark nights, the gathering storm, yet it still uplifts and enlights.
A recommendation to buy ? You bet ....!
Having failed to find the CD single in my local manufactured plastic pop serving music store I decided to buy the album, 'Frengers' (not quite friends but not quite strangers).
With sounds that eclipse their years, this album is something to shout about, 'Mew' are five Danes who have produced a 10 track debut album of epic proportions and worthy of all accolades given to them by the music monthly's. 'Frengers' kicks off with three uplifting tracks, mixing pop rock with superb indie guitar hooks thrown in for good measure. Track four 'Symmetry' is a slow piano based ballad that has one of the most haunting and saddest of choruses that any sad song has ever had to offer. 'Her voice is beyond her years' features the vocal talent that is Stina Nordamstan, a track that for me resembles the sounds of 'The Wannadies', the most indie sounding track on the album. At that point you start to realise 'Mew' have allot to offer, without sounding pretentious they are deep in depth and who aren't afraid to experiment with sounds and vocals. The whole album builds up nicely to its finale, 'Comforting Sounds', 8 minutes 53 seconds of pure genius, the track kind of reminded me of sounds from Grandaddy's 'Software Slump'. Lets face it 'Mew' just like the similar sounding and equally brilliant 'Electric Soft Parade' are never going to take over the world and dominate any music awards because todays music unfortunately caters for the masses.Read more ›
Coincidentally, ‘Snow Brigade’ bore comparison with one of my favourite bands of recent times, Snow Patrol, sharing not just a fascination for forming collectives interested in looking after snow, but also for delicate melodies shrouded in razor-edged guitar, as well as the odd dodgy song title. Check out opener ‘Am I Wry? No’ for a prime example of all of the above.
Vocalist Jonas Bjerre is reminiscent of long lost AOR legends The Outfield (a comparison of no use to anyone except my brother, so let’s hope he reads this) and his voice soars throughout this album, none more so than on the fantastic ‘156’ and its glorious, ever-altering bridge and repeated ‘Don’t you just love goodbyes’ refrain, which persists with the Snow Patrol references, being similar in mood and style to that band’s ‘One Night Is Not Enough’.
‘Frengers’ is a lush sounding album, full of layer upon layer of instrumentation and yet it doesn’t feel over-produced. On first listen this may seem to bury the melodies a little but as you play it again (and again) the album grows and you find yourself humming extracts days later. However, given the oft-times obtuse song titles, it might not always be instantly clear to work out which song you’ve just remembered. For reference though, if it isn’t one of the three songs already name-checked, chances are it will be from the splendid ‘Eight Flew Over, One Was Destroyed’ (see what I mean about the titles) or the juddering ‘She Spider’.
All told, a promising debut from the Danes.