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Ewian - Good Old Underground

Ewian
Good Old Underground
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 October 2014, 6:27 PM

EWIAN is a Dream-Noise/Alternative/Post-Noise band; an international collaboration between its members.  Their energetic “wall of sound” includes distorted piano, noisy guitars, bittersweet vocal melodies and solemn string passages.  This is their first full-length album, and contains ten tracks.

“My Dear Dead Memory” leads off the album.  It’s a light, airy and unassuming song, with a partially distorted guitar that leaves a ringing quality to its notes.  Vocally the impact is keep to a minimum with a narrow range and softly sung notes.  The title track, “Good Old Underground,” has a similar pace and instrumentation.  The guitar reaches into a higher range and really draws out some nice moments of melody throughout.  “Escape” begins with piano and bass, pushing a more frail sound into the picture.  Call me crazy, but I am still hearing a common theme of despondence at times that is just enough of a presence not to through in some talk of “Doom” with this stound.  “The Last Poem” begins in a similar fashion, and I daresay I have yet to hear much of a meter change from track to track.  In addition, there is a common one-two approach to the chord progressions which seem to go from major to minor and back again.  “Black Star” is the first song that stretches out a little bit with a more spirited approach and, aptly, more “noise.”  Heavily loaded vibrato notes clang and ring over a richer, fuller instrumentation, and perhaps more positivity.  “Zampano” is driven more by percussion and some vocal harmonies, while “We Are Not Afraid to Die” is a more riff driven number.  Still, that gentle, back-in-forth sway just permeates much of how these songs are composed.  At times, I feel a vibe of U2 at their more tender side.  “When I Was Dead” closes out the album.  Bells provide a feathery opening, before we hear our first really extended passage of atmosphere.  The entire piece reminds me of the content of an amiable day dream.

Overall I found my listening experience to be pleasant, just not very challenging or exciting, which I suppose is the point of the style to some degree.  Still, I found the album as a whole too homogeneous its composition, and predictable from track to track.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. My Dear Dead Memory
2. Good Old Underground
3. Escape
4. The Last Poem
5. Black Star
6. Zampano
7. We Are Not Afraid to Die
8. Looper
9. Newborn
10. When I was Dead
Lineup:
Ewian Christensen – Vocals, Piano
Fifi Rong – Vocals
Benjamin Lachance – Guitars
James Hrabak
Clemens Engert
Record Label: Timezone Records
     


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