Strange Rebel Frequency,
House of Four & Hearts
(independent, 2006)

The singing on House of Four & Hearts adds a rough edge to the CD that gives it part of its flavour and feeling. And while Strange Rebel Frequency flows between a few different genres of music on the CD, there are parts that tie it all together. It can be tough to peg the sound precisely over all in one category, but it is very easy to say they are very good at what they do.

There is a slight rasp in the vocals of "Souls Rising" as they caress the lyrics, which emphasizes the poetry in the words. The beat of "Voice" is strongly emphasized at points, which sits well with how the lyrics are sung. "Shine On" sounds like an up-tempo rock song from time gone by. The music fades to a sparse backdrop in "Ghost of You," which lets the edge in the vocals shape the song.

The verses of "Flesh & Bone" are delivered at a very slow pace, almost coming to silence along the way. The backup vocals in the chorus of "Burn for You" add warmth to the song. That warmth fades quickly for "The Man with the Sun in His Eyes," and while the song is fairly short, there is something unsettling in the music and words. "Down the Line" has a bluegrass feel, with a stripped-back sound that draws the song out.

They return to the sound of the first songs with the first part of "Kill the Pain/Spiritual Hell" and then switching to more experimental and spoken-word sounds in the second half. The music slides back to very sparse in "Where Does it Go" with the distortion in the chorus setting very nicely against the vocals. There is something very disturbing in the lyrics of "No End" as the music continues along the lines set by the song before. The CD closes with "Games We Used to Play," which feels like the final piece in a triptych.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Paul de Bruijn

15 January 2011

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