Thursday, April 26, 2007
A couple of years ago my good friend Codename Sparrow urged me to check out a band from New York by the name of Blonde Redhead. I had a listen to their album at the time, Misery Is A Butterfly, but for some strange reason it just didn't do anything for me, despite the added attraction of Fugazi's Guy Piccotto helming the boards. Then two years later I came across a copy of the album in a charity shop for 50p, and since picking it up it's become one of my favourite albums in recent memory. The gorgeous, lilting vocals of Kazu Makino, Simone Pace's on-point drumming, and twin brother Amedeo Pace's knack for creating melodies which wouldn't seem out of place whilst walking through a haunted fairground combine to produce songs which remain with you long after you've heard them, digging deeper into your soul. They're one of the few bands around who can illicit feelings of euphoria and despair in the space of four and a half minutes.
The band's latest album 23 has just been released in the UK on 4AD, and with Alan Moulder helping out on the final stages of production this time around it appears they've gone for a heavier and more focused sound considering Moulder's previous work (well, just a few small bands such as The Killers, U2 and Nine Inch Nails. No biggies really). Opener and title track '23' is a sign that the band have found a perfect marriage between the dreamy soundscapes of previous albums, and a pop sensibility that occasionally snuck through on their last album as Makino's vocals fly against a dirge of MBV style guitars and percussion. One of the first hidden treasures of 2007? You betcha.
Blonde Redhead - 23
Blonde Redhead - Melody (from Misery Is A Butterfly)
Blonde Redhead play Koko on May 30. Tickets available from TicketWeb.