Exploded View – “Exploded View” (2016)

Label: Sacred Bones Records

Review by Warren Mayocchi

“Fully live, fully improvised, first-takes only” is part of the record label’s description for Exploded View‘s self-titled album. The band are Annika (Anika) Henderson (Vocals, Synth), Martin Thulin (Drums, Guitar), Hugo Quezada (Bass, Synth) and Amon Melgarejo (Synth, Guitar). Legend has it Anika played a number of shows in Mexico and became so enamored with the musicians supporting her, they went into the studio to record what happened. The band has found an experimental punk-like style with depressed-dreamy vocals generally closer to, or actually, spoken word in style. Musically the improvised sound you would expect given their recording approach is evident, but the songs are a lot more distinctive and coherent than might be expected. Personally I prefer the tracks where the band build on a strong beat with various effects, as they do on “Lost Illusions”, “One Too Many”, “Orlando”, and “No More Parties in the Attic”. A few of them remind me of Ry Cooder‘s efforts on the soundtrack from “Last Man Standing”. The rest of the album varies in how experimental the band goes, and how close to spoken word the vocals go. “Orlando” has a music video and is worth a listen to experience what you will find. “Disco Glove” is probably the most extreme, with fairly weird noises over a fast drum and an Anika monologue. There are a number of seriously cool noir feeling tracks on this collaboration. The laid back menace the band create on several tracks is surprising given the recording approach. The darkly dripping vocals of Anika are good and the entire band sound as though they have been playing together for years.

Rating – 80/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Lost Illusions
  2. One Too Many
  3. Orlando
  4. Call on the Gods
  5. Disco Glove
  6. Stand Your Ground
  7. No More Parties in the Attic
  8. Lark Descending
  9. Gimme Something
  10. Beige
  11. Killjoy

 

Line Up

  • Annika Henderson (Anika) – Singer & Synth
  • Hector Melgarejo – Synth & Guitar
  • Hugo Quezada –  Bass & Synth
  • Martin Thulin – Drums & Guitar

 

Links

facebook.com/explodedviewband/

 

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