The Cellophane Flowers – Freeze Me

When the ‘If I Was A Girl EP came out last year the critical acclaim for the release and for The Cellophane Flowers themselves was wide and deep, and rightly so as their intriguing, engaging, and at times wrong footing indie pop showed there was some unique creativeness still alive in the genre. Whilst working on their debut album Staring At The World with notable producer Dave Allen (The Cure / Depeche Mode / Human League / The Charlatans), the multi-national quartet have released the new single ‘Freeze Me’ as not only a teaser for the forthcoming release but also a nudge to those already aware of them to not forget their enticing sound. Guitarist Ian Sumner says in reference to the recording of the album “It’s a great experience working with Dave,” and added “Working with Dave has blown our mind, the ideas and approach has helped us to explore a new musical territory.”

Whilst waiting in growing anticipation for the album fans can enjoy a duo of tracks taken from the ‘If I Was A Girl EP’ that as well as bringing great joy show a band destined to inspire and break down limits in any direction they choose. 

Freeze Me’ immediately beckons the listener closer with the guitar opening which gently strolls in being joined as the chords flow by simple and effective rhythms. Everything breaks into a wider smile musically as Italian vocalist Francesca Corradini lets her emotive tones flow. She has a voice that demands attention without imposing, her voice bewitching. As the track develops the drums of Nick Guy become more insistent and Sumner lets his guitar sing behind and around Corradini’s captivating voice creating crescendos and swells that can only please.

The magical song ‘Belinda’ accompanies ‘Freeze Me’ on the release. It is an uplifting song with a hybrid summery calypso–ska kind of groove in the verses before giving way to a satisfying indie rock sound. The bass of Australian-Italian Luca Napolitano is a wonderful rumbling growl whilst the voice of enchantress Corradini again with its alluring, magnetic fascination is glorious.

Musically though The Cellophane Flowers are hard to pin down, which is refreshing in itself, there is an 80’s feel to their sound. There are traces of Throwing Muses certainly to them enhanced with the quirky pop of Whale and in a way also Daisy Chainsaw, certainly vocally for the latter; all are apparent flavours but the resulting sound is all The Cellophane Flowers exclusively and very appetising it is indeed.

Freeze Me’ is a wonderful and delightful release to bring more fans in and to abate the wait for their debut album, one that many will after this release be anticipating even more eagerly.

http://www.thecellophaneflowers.co.uk/

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In Solitude – The World. The Flesh.The Devil

All the talk about In Solitude from Uppsala in Sweden is that they are possibly the heir apparent to the throne of Mercyful Fate/King Diamond and certainly after listening to their new album The World. The Flesh.The Devil, released on Metal Blade Records, there is justification. They frequent the same dark shadowy netherworld, bringing their classic rock influences into a fusion with striking metal and rock nuances; showing there is more than being mere disciples to their sound, proven immediately as the opening  title track lifts off with riffs straight out of The Misfits.

Formed in 2002 their darkened path took them through demos, line-up changes, a well received unnamed debut album, and shows, tours and festivals throughout Europe. The 2010 signing with Metal Blade Records and arriving at the current settled line-up is set to be the sign post in the bands history as they look to emerge as more than contenders and their second album certainly is a fine opening step.

The quintet are tight and creative, their musicianship faultless from the driving drum rhythms and enticing basslines from Uno Bruniusson and Gottfrid Åhman respectively, to the insightful, intriguing, and flowing guitars of Niklas Lindström and Henrik Palm. The imaginative sounds and imagery which the music creates is completed by the soaring tones of vocalist Pelle Åhman. His vocal style is firmly in the Dickinson/King Diamond style though thankfully without resorting to any high sonic squeals and wails, and fits the music perfectly enhancing as well as complimenting.  

The World.The Flesh.The Devil is rippling with fine moments, such as the central pairing of ‘Poisoned, Blessed, and Burned’ and ‘Demons’  both containing great creative and inviting musical instrumental elements midway in their length. The first of the two is like a calling card into the track and album in case the listener has still not committed, it is incisive and siren like, whilst the ‘Demons’ midway turn feels like the escape of controlled but mischievous chaos.

If there is a moan to be given to the album it is of an air of similarity to the songs though that is lifted by the final two tracks. It is not a flaw as such just that one can lose where they are in the album track wise easily if attention is not fully focused. Tracks such as ‘To Her Darkness’ or ‘We Were Never There’ are perfectly satisfying and inviting but there is that familiarity, possibly it can be as much down to the vocals of Åhman as the music. Great as he is and there is no disputing that, his delivery is pretty much uniform throughout every song and sometimes it needs a little variety.

The closing two tracks though show exactly why In Solitude is rightly being doused in impressive praise and comparisons. ‘Dance Of The Adversary’ is a triumphant, visual inducing song at play. Åhman here does shake things up and with the sound from the rolling drums, through the stalking bass, to the teasing guitars and great solo; the track is a mighty joy. The final two minutes though are what takes it to an even higher plateau. The song switches to a sorrowful subdued guitar plea reflecting the band’s name as a feeling of loneliness and separation comes through. Easily it is the best song on the release though it is almost challenged for that accolade by the final epic journey of ‘On Burning Paths’.

The track weighs in at almost fourteen minutes on galloping riffs and refreshing flying guitars, taking many twists and turns, neat detours from its path but all within the map to its destination. Again image inducing and soulfully pleasing the only question is on the length as by the eleventh minute the mind can wander but that is personal more than a flaw. What is not in question is that In Solitude has created a greatly enjoyable album in The World.The Flesh.The Devil and that they are a force to be and right now that deserves close attention.

http://www.myspace.com/insolitudeheavymetal

http://www.facebook.com/pages/In-Solitude/124626001163

Pete RingMaster 03/07/2011

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