Vinyl Floor - Vaudeville

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2014-10-06

The Danish trio’s third album finds the Pedersen brothers (guitarist Thomas, drummer Daniel) and guitarist Rasmus Bruun supplemented by bassist Mads Bjerregaard and, once again, the Vindla String Quartet from Sweden to deliver another solid set of well executed, emotionally charged guitar-based alt-rock. Tasteful solos abound, excesses are reined in and we’re never subjected to ego-driven wankery.

The vocals throughout are stereotypically gruff and menacing, as with many Scandinavian hard rockers, but the kids seem to love this approach these days. The Vindla Strings lend a classical air to the quite anthemic ‘Time Your Life’, which almost adds a progressive vibe to the tune, and ‘Castles’ suggests more than a few XTC albums in the lads’ record collection.

There’s a dreamy, Psychedelic Furs quality to ‘Angel of Crime’, but other tracks like ‘Colorblind’ meander aimlessly, and the piano-driven ballad ‘Nation Underground’ has a bit too much Queen-like substance attached to it – by the end, I half expected Freddie to pop up and take a bow. Still, ‘Sensational Freedom Country Estate’ may please fans of fellow scuzzoid Scandos Motorpsycho and the alt-punk kids who’ve worn out their New Found Glory and Sum 41 records.

Thomas’ lengthy solo, which codas ‘Fallen Leaves’, is one of the more heartbreaking aspects of Vaudeville, completing a song that compares the death of a relationship with the dead leaves falling from the autumnal trees. Much of Vaudeville delves into the darker sides of the musicians’ psyches. The Brechtian story-song ‘The Abyss’ is perhaps its most obvious exponent, but the abusive boyfriend and mismatched lovers of ‘Change the Song’ and the downward spiraling ‘Angel of Crime’ are equally adept representations.

So there’s a number of styles cross-pollinating the album and it may take a while to get your head around just what it is they are all about musically - prog, punk, metal, arena-rock - but it’s worth an hour of your time to check it out and decide for yourself.

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