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Indica: Kadonnut puutarha

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Indica: Kadonnut puutarha

CD, Sony BMG 2007

Track list: Viimeinen jyvä - Linnansa vanki - Ikävänkantaja - Ulkona - Nukkuu kedolla - Noita - Pahan tarha - Äänet - Mykkä - Unten laiva - Helmet

After seeing Indica perform support for Nightwish, I quickly checked out their discography from library. Of the three albums they've made, this, the third one, is clearly the best. All have hits, but this one's a solid flow of one good song after the other. Viimeinen jyvä, Linnansa vanki, Ulkona, Nukkuu kedolla, Noita, Pahan tarha - pure gold!

I find Indica's brand of poprock rather pleasant: catchy tunes, enough mysticism and romance and quite a bit of personality. The vocalist, violinist and songwriter Jonsu is a gifted individual and here to stay, I'd say. Her voice is personal, by which I mean some love it and some hate it and few will be left cold - I do like it a lot. What an excellent album. ****

Borknagar: Origin

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Borknagar: OriginCD, Century Media 2006

Track list: Earth Imagery - Grains - Oceans Rise - Signs - White - Cynosure - Human Nature - Acclimation - The Spirit Of Nature

The new Borknagar album is acoustic, yet it still very much sounds like Borknagar. So strong is Øystein Brun's touch, I suppose. I like it; the songs are powerful and intense, even with their lighter instrumentation. Unfortunately the unplugged environment manages to bring up the weaker side of Vintersorg's vocals; they aren't always quite as top-notch as rest of the album. Still, this is a good album for the fans of soft progressive rock. ****

Quill, The: In Triumph

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Quill, The: In TriumphCD, SPV/Steamhammer 2006

Track list: Keep the Circle Whole - Yeah - Slave/Master - Broken Man - Man in Mind - Merciless Room - Trespass - Black - No Light on the Dark Side - Triumph is a Sea of Flame - In the Shadows - Down

The Quill kicks ass. Their big riffs, groovy sounds and the excellent vocalist Maguns Ekwall come together in what's definitely one of the better rock albums in 2006 so far. The album is thoroughly good, with few brighter spots and just few weaker tracks. It starts great, that's for sure: Keep the Circle Whole gives a pretty good picture of what's coming. ****

Morrissey: Ringleader of the TormentorsCD, Attack 2006

Track list: I Will See You in Far Off Places - Dear God, Please Help Me - You Have Killed Me - The Youngest Was the Most Loved - In the Future When All's Well - The Father Who Must Be Killed - Life Is a Pigsty - I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now - On the Streets I Ran - To Me You Are a Work of Art - I Just Want to See the Boy Happy - At Last I Am Born

After the smash hit You're the Quarry, Morrissey returns with a new album, and it's a jolly good album, too. From the obvious hit of You Have Killed Me to the subtle brilliance of Life Is a Pigsty, this one has it all. The album sounds brilliant, too, thanks to producer Tony Visconti. Morrissey is having the time of his life, if you ask me. ****

Placebo: Meds

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Placebo: MedsCD, Virgin 2006

Track list: Meds - Infra-red - Drag - Space Monkey - Follow the Cops Back Home - Post Blue - Because I Want You - Blind - Pierrot the Clown - Broken Promise - One of a Kind - In the Cold Light of Morning - Song to Say Goodbye

I was a bit slow to warm up for the latest Placebo album, but finally it got to me. There are plenty of good tracks (no Every You Every Me or Nancy Boy, though), mixed with weaker tracks, but which are the good ones and which the weak ones seems to depend on the listener. I personally enjoy Meds, Infra-red and One of a Kind, but don't like Follow the Cops Back Home, for example... The good stuff weighs over the weaker stuff easily, so the whole is pretty good. Besides, in this iPod time, who cares about a weak track or two? Just forget them. ****

Revolting Cocks: Cocked & Loaded


Revolting Cocks: Cocked & LoadedCD, 13th Planet Records 2006

Track list: Fire Engine - 10 Million Ways to Die - Caliente (Dark Entries) - Prune Tang - Dead End Streets - Pole Grinder - Jack in the Crack - Devil Cock - Viagra Culture - Untitled

Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen returns with Revolting Cocks after years of silence. The style remains the same: mixture of industrial, dance beats, buzzing guitars and pornographic imagery. The most interesting track on the album is the Bauhaus cover Caliente (Dark Entries) from the Saw 2 soundtrack. Featuring Gibby Haynes, the track mixes the original goth classic with Jesus Built My Hotrod to an amazing result. The rest of album is kind of average, though. ***

Naio Ssaion: Out Loud

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Naio Ssaion: Out LoudCD, Napalm Records 2005

Track list: Static - The Mirror - Teen - Miss You - Bow Link in E Minor - N.SS - Shut Up - Blah-Blah - Blind Date - Can't You Hear - At Ease - Yours Faithfully - Out of the Great Book of Fairytales

Naio Ssaion hails from Slovenia and plays rather catchy pop metal. They're already quite big in Slovenia and if I they get enough marketing power behind them, they might take over Europe. All the elements are there: catchy pop metal (kind of like Evanescense) with a strong female vocalist and a violinist to give flavour. The songs are pretty good, all they need is more drama for the vocalist, somewhat better production and few killer songs, and that's it. Well done. ***

Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much BetterCD, Domino 2005

Track list: Fallen - Do You Want to - This Boy - Walk Away - Evil and a Heathen - You're the Reason I'm Leaving - Eleanor Put Your Boots on - Well That Was Easy - What You Meant - I'm Your Villain - You Could Have It So Much Better - Fade Together - Outsiders

I have grown to really like Franz Ferdinand's debut album and now that I've heard their second album, I can say I'm satisfied. It could be better - some of the songs are really great, some are just plain good - but I'm happy with it. Right now the absolute highlight of the album is Walk Away, but fortunately it doesn't stop there. The guys have done nothing new here, though; it's pretty much the same as their debut. Well, maybe more slower songs, which is nice. But why Fade Together isn't the closing track? ****

Fall of the Leafe: Vantage

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Fall of the Leafe: VantageCD, Firebox 2005

Track list:The Fresco - Morning Works - But the Ghosts Here - In the Silence of the Sands - Off the Map, Under the Sun - Receiver - The Other Room - Ordeal - Quiet Citizen - Cold Java - Discipline and Punish - The End of Harvest

Fall of the Leafe is back. Vantage is, like Volvere, A-class rock with some metal edges. Goth rock, one might call it. Maybe. It's all pretty cool, anyhow, as their style is highly personal and far from obvious. Instead of easy chorus lines they hand out multi-layered songs which reward a patient listener. This one comes highly recommended, but don't expect you'll love it the first time you hear it. Give it time, it's worth the effort. *****

Soviettes, The: LP III

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Soviettes, The: LP IIICD, Fat Wreck 2005

Track list: Multiply and Divide - ¡Paranoia Cha Cha Cha! - Middle of the Night - Whoa - (Do) the Stagger - You Should Know - What Did I Do? - Roller Girls - Together - Thinking of You - Hanging up the Phone - How Do You Like That - Photograph - Gotta Decide

The Soviettes plays perky punkpop. Band's strenghts include pretty good vocalists (all four members of the band sing), but that's pretty much it. Well, the album strikes a nice balance between sounding nice and being punk. It isn't too commercial nor too gritty. Paranoia Cha Cha Cha, featured on the Rock Against Bush -compilation, is probably the best track of the album. **

Cosmo Jones Beat Machine: No Matter How You PrayCD, Autotehtaat 2005

Track list: Devil Behind the Woodpile - Downbound Express - (I Believe in) Black Jesus - Kenneth Neu on Death Row - Umbanda Boom O-Mami Wata Woo - I Feel Nothing - What's the Use of Getting Sober when You're Gonna Get Drunk? - Compassion - Aeolipile Babe - The Flood - I Asked for Gasoline - Little Red and Carril Ann

Hurrah, more wild and sweaty rhythm'n'blues from the Cosmo Jones guys! Seeing this album in a record store was a very pleasant surprise. After few times through it, I'm not quite ready to rank it as high as Negrospiritualized, but there are several good tracks in it. Downbound Express is an instant favourite of mine. Great work! ****

Einstürzende Neubauten: Fünf auf der nach oben offenen RichterskalaCD, Potomak 2002 (1987)

Track list: Zestörte Zelle - Morning Dew - Ich bin's - Modimidofrsaso - 12 Städte - Keine Schönheit ohne Gefahr - Kein bestandteil sein - Adler kommt später

This new edition of the Neubauten album from 1987 is neat and well-done. The new cover art is cool and the booklet is fairly informative. Good work. The album itself is good; it's the Neubauten of its time, rough and metallic, but with more organised song structures. It's in between the early, less controlled Neubauten sound and the newer, more controlled and balanced Neubauten. It's a good place to be. ****

Dirty Three: She Has No Strings ApolloCD, Bella Union 2003

Track list: Alice Wading - She Has No Strings - Long Way To Go With No Punch - No Stranger Than That - Sister Let Them Try And Follow - She Lifted The Net - Rude (And Then Some Slight Return)

She Has No Strings Apollo is an interesting album. All the Dirty Three essentials can be found, but there are traces of something else, too. One thing, for example, is the track No Stranger Than That, which reminded me very much of Balanescu Quartet's Luminitza album. She Has No Strings Apollo lacks the certain immediate punch that earlier Dirty Three albums have, which makes it harder to approach. It'll take time to digest, but it'll turn out just as good. ****

Dirty Three: Whatever You Love, You AreCD, Bella Union 2000

Track list: Some Summers They Drop Like Flys - I Really Should've Gone Out Last Night - I Offered It Up To The Stars & The Night Sky - Some Things I Just Don't Want To Know - Stellar - Lullabye For Christie

From the absolutely brilliant cover art by Mick Turner to the haunting melodies, Whatever You Love, You Are is a very beautiful album. Some of the roughness of their earlier work (well, Dirty Three) is gone, but what's come up to take it's place isn't bad, at all. The intensity of the music still reaches heights and the result is a very powerful and convincing album. ****

Dirty Three: Dirty Three

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Dirty Three: Dirty ThreeCD, Touch and Go 1995

Track list: Indian Love Song - Better Go Home Now - Odd Couple - Kim's Dirt - Everything's Fucked - The Last Night - Dirty Equation

I've always enjoyed Warren Ellis's work with the Bad Seeds and thus diving into his own band, Dirty Three, was rather obvious thing to do. This, their second album, is a great piece of instrumental rock. The songs fall into two overlapping categories: slower ballads and almost post-rock cacophony build-ups. Especially the latter ones (Dirty Equation, for example) are brilliant: Mick Turner and Jim White beat a steadily repeating pulsating rhythm on which Warren Ellis plays violin with great elegance. ****

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