Holiday For Strings - CD
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Holiday For Strings

There are places when listening to CD that I think it's one of the best releases that I've heard this year. Created a Swedish five-piece group called Holiday For Strings, the release technically probably falls into some sort of a post rock categorization, but incorporates electronic elements freely and roams all over the place with occasional vocals, sometimes dubby effects, and some downright odd songwriting turns. It's one of those releases that doesn't quite sink in on first listen, but comes back to you after the release has stopped playing.

"Three Laps" opens the disc and is one of those aforementioned oddities, as it spends almost six minutes just sort of plodding along at the same speed as chanted vocals mix with multi-part but spare guitar melodies and some stuttering beat programming. It always feels like it's on the cusp of picking up and actually going somewhere, but never does. Fortunately, "Touch The Tiger" really gets things going, and after a long opening build, the track bursts with a slightly atonal chorus and some breathy, subdued vocals.

The rest of the album is alternately somewhat frustrating and nearly enlightening as the quintet seems to indulge just about every whim. "Pain Au Chocolat" is an overlong, muddy piece that takes forever to really go anywhere, while "Brest" is a fairly standard sounding spacious guitar-based jam that also fails to develop before it dissolves into field recordings and guitar wanderings.

On the other side of things, the release closes with what might be the best two songs on the album. "Hotel" starts out in drone-land, but morphs into a textural, yet highly funky piece that features some warm crooning vocals that fit perfectly. "Jump On Foot" turns the BPM up to something almost dancey and the result is another winning track as playful guitar melodies chime across one another and some more engrossing rhythms induce toe-tapping. That is, until the track again takes a left-turn into a closing section of filtered guitars that send the disc out on a softer note. In the end, CD is a somewhat scattered release from a young group trying some different things.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2006-10-12 20:03:03