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Semifinalists, Ultra Brain Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 6.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 April 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: V2
  • ASIN: B000E5KJT8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 236,441 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Origin Song
2. Show The Way
3. The Chemicals That Wait
4. Lets Kill This
5. You Said
6. D.C.
7. A Short Acoustic Song
8. Hwy. 101
9. I Saw You In The Hall
10. Upstream
11. Whispering Mice
12. From Several To Many

Product Description


They say there’s no prizes for coming second place, but on their debut album, Semifinalists make experimental sonics and an eccentric, outsider stance sound like a weird kind of victory. Sound scientists in the questing spirit of Grandaddy, Secret Machines or the Flaming Lips, this London-based film school trio craft magic realist rock epics that beneath their broiling surface of neon synthesiser and crunchy guitar, conceal oddly touching emotional epiphanies. "Show The Way" opens as an Eels-like lullaby that asks "Are you sad?" over wisps of synth before being rent in two by a guitar riff that soars in like a cannonball, while "Let’s Kill This" blossoms with layered vocals and the distant shimmer of bowed guitar. Semifinalists is an occasionally lo-fi affair, and one that pointedly lacks the wondrous orchestral grandeur that’s grown to define the likes of the Flaming Lips. But songs like "You Said" and the blip-laden "Short Acoustic Song" excel at building an elegant, symphonic racket out of defiantly no-tech tools, and even at their most basic and unadorned, Semifinalists write songs with a quiet beauty it’s hard to deny. --Louis Pattison

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Semifinalists 11 Mar 2013
By Nadi
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Semifinalists is an example of cracked genius. More musical ideas than you can take in and needs multiple listening to. For those who want something a bit different. I liked the Origin Song -fab.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This time the winner does,nt take it all 18 May 2006
By russell clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Semifinalists do that old thing of mixing glowing harmonies and a pepped up pop suss to discordant synthesized orchestration and in your face slabs of wholesome guitar noise. They recall Granddaddy, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie and Sheer, though it's entirely possible that I'm the only one who remembers them. Their lo-fi passivity and skew riff imagination also bring to mind bands like The Pastels. If I am making all this sound like a bad thing then I apologise. While this album is a touch sketchy and often too idiosyncratic for it's own good there is no little talent and warped intelligence here. And some of the tunes would make a sloth pogo.

Chris Steele-Nicholsons reedy falsetto twitters over Casio Keyboards, recorders, Hammond organ, xylophone with the occasional brush of acoustic guitar and/or disquieting eruptions of guitar noise and/or percussion. Adriana Alba adds more lustrous harmonic vocal backing, but the real eye opener is Ferry Gouw whose vocals though utilised sparingly are a genuinely intense manic yelp, which just for added effect are pushed up higher in the mix.

The album suffers to some extent because the stand out track - "Origin Song"- happens to open the album. This song intersperses the diverse vocal styles of the band to superb effect. "Show The Way" which was the first single from the album progresses from slight beginnings to scuffed euphoria. Current single "You Said" goes quiet. Loud, quiet, semi loud back to quiet via a very loud bit. It works unexpectedly well and segues into the lush effortlessly harmonic "D.C".
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatiful album 1 Jun 2007
Format:Audio CD
It would be impossible to deny the beauty in some of these songs.. just buy this!
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've been waiting a long time for this album... 10 April 2006
Format:Audio CD
... and it's everything I wanted, expected and hoped for! It's got intensity, beauty and imagination and makes me want to sing, dance and cry all at the same time :) If this band don't make some kind of significant impact it'll be a crime!! A+
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