Klak TiK - Must We Find a Winner - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Klak TiK - Must We Find a Winner

by Rich Morris Rating:5 Release Date:2010-06-14

Built around acoustic finger-picking, subtle brass and heartfelt singing, former 6 Day Riot member Soren Bonke has sculpted 13 tracks of melancholic folk which manages to combine Simon & Garfunkel-style US folk-pop with a very old-world European sensibility. Opening track 'The 2nd Wave is Sometimes Bigger' swoons around swells of accordion. Elsewhere, the influence of the orchestral folk of Danish groups Efterklang and Slaraffenland can be found on tracks such as 'Carpet Swept', 'Business as Usual' and 'I Am Your Memory'.

With droomy track-titles including 'Kneel to Avoid Beheading 'and 'Catholic Suicide', and with a sleeve depicting a bleak industrial landscape viewed through a grimy window, one could be forgiven for expecting some bile and anger to be found on Must We Find a Winner. In fact, while Bonke certainly whips up a storm of emotion at times, he never steps beyond regulation singer/songwritery angst, at times employing a whiny, sub-Thom Yorke vocal style which quickly becomes tiresome.

Thankfully, there's enough musical variation to keep you interested, with the chimes and urgent brass on 'Knuckles, Depressed' being a particular standout moment. The fact that this track is also an instrumental is probably not coincidental. Bonke is undoubtedly a talented musician, capable of conjuring up surfeit of inventive, absorbing melodies on his guitar, an ability which eludes most nu-folkies. The album's quieter, less fussy moments, such as 'Driverless Train to Expo', 'Catholic Suicide' and 'Kneel to Avoid Beheading', are just as accomplished as its orchestral flourishes.

What Must We Find a Winner needs are a few moments where Bonke steps outside of his bittersweet malaise. Unfortunately, without such moments the album does drag quite badly at times as one pretty but downcast and slightly listless lament follows another. Still, Bonke is clearly a musician with the talent to make more varied music should he wish. Meanwhile, anyone who enjoys a comforting mope will find Must We Find a Winner to be an excellent soundtrack for such an activity. And since we've got through the entirety of this review without attempting a ham-fisted double entendre around Bonke's name, Soundblab deserves a biscuit.

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