- 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: 343,210 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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They say theres 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 "Lets 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 thats 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 its hard to deny. --Louis Pattison
Top Customer Reviews
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".Read more ›