By Marcus Pan
Spooky "media darlings" Iconcrash's debut of
Nude is an interesting conglomeration that at times can be reminiscent
of 3SkS(1), The Cure(2), Slowdive and The Last Dance(3). With lightly played
musical arrangements and an extremely floaty feel, sometimes a bit too floaty,
it debuts Helsinki's Iconcrash as at least an interesting outfit in need of a
little tightening, but certainly not bereft of talent.
A year and a half spent on this worthy album, the style
throws back to the 80s with a cabaret feel and effervescent style. The outfit
itself is made up of Jaani Peuhu (vocals/guitar/keys), Robert Kuuka
(guitar/bv's), Jani Marjoniemi (bass/bv's(4)) and Reko Aho (drums). The quartet
have been playing their Finnish homeland as well as surrounding Baltic and
Russian states. They intend to kick it over on the east side (Mercury Lounge,
New York City) on April 1 of this year (2005) and we'll see where they take it
Musically and sonically, Nude is a good album. While
it could stand a bit of tightening, the band shows promise as they mature into
themselves and with themselves. They'll occasionally push the boundaries of
length with tracks such as the five and half minute Ocean, the over six
minute 4 and the monster of the album, the nearly ten minute in length
Concordia. Ocean for example is smooth and reminiscent of New
Order or The Church, but I believe the track would have been much better if not
for its sheer length.
The Lovers is Iconcrash's hit single, clearing YleX
(Finland BBC Radio 1) as a top rated radio cut for the group. A slightly more
moving crescendo and tempo than their other work, the swirls are still there
but are tempered by a more moving percussion and more noticeable guitar flair.
4's opening mopey beats and plunking piano flows into Jaana's vocals
well, but I don't find it moving enough to remain interesting for long. It is
here that the effervescence becomes so cloudy that it's hard to get into the
music...it keeps slightly out of reach.
The Knife is one of the better tracks on the album,
but also suffers from the too-long syndrome and will begin to lose your
interest halfway through. Another three minute song masquerading as an epic.
But before then, it's a well arranged piece of music. The closing Her
Violence is shoe-gazery and includes mostly Jana's vocals along with a
keyboard. Jana's high tenor voice is sweet and melancholy and closes the album
with a nice track.
There's a lot to like on Iconcrash's Nude regardless.
Fans of swirly goth will enjoy the lightly tinkering movements while those of
us into the heavier side of the scene could do without the translucence. So you
see, picking up Iconcrash's Nude, out on Parole/Future Records, is
ultimately up to how far into the swirls you like to float.
Post: Limingantie 43 B, 00560, Helsinki, Finland
Phone: +358 (9)
Fax: (0044) 20 86707764
(1) Tri State Killing Spree
reviewed in Legends #96.
(2) We reviewed Bloodflowers in Legends
(3) Their latest, Whispers in
Rage, was reviewed in Legends
#139. We interviewed them in that issue as well.
If someone can tell me what a bv is Id be grateful.