Sunday, 17 August 2008

ALBUM: Victoria Berg and the Blindfolded Man -Victoria Berg and the Blindfolded Man (KFM Records)

Half Swedish, half Scottish and a whole lot of aural fun, Victoria Berg and the Blindfolded Man have created a fuzz-pop record so sweet it’ll rot your teeth to the core within 3 full rotations. Just as well you don’t need your molars to hear then, otherwise you’d be missing out on the seven tracks of simplistic, lush melodies and occasionally bizarre lyrics that make up this, the duo’s eponymous debut effort.

Fizzing and crackling into life, this first LP begins with the gorgeous ‘Blindfolded Man’, which sees glimmers of Kylie-esque pop shine through the distortion, before segueing into ‘I’ll Meet You at the Chicken Lodge’ with it’s crunk beats and effortlessly catchy melody. I’ve no idea what the chicken lodge is but if it’s as fun as this track makes it seem, I’ll definitely be paying it a visit. ‘Since the Accident’ is a slower, piano-led epic that really showcases Berg’s soft and innocent vocals, whereas ‘No Maps’ is a gentle instrumental that would perfectly soundtrack the sun setting over a Hawaiian beach. ‘Intrepid Explorers of Amateurism…Begin’ brings Berg’s vocal chords back into play to create one of the strongest tracks on the record; there’s so many ideas going on here it’s a wonder they don’t clutter together and make the song incomprehensible. The result is quite the opposite though and all the better for it. Penultimate track ‘Gang of Coffee’ is a quick waltz through the heavens with Berg insisting “I don’t look pretty/But I’m doing the best that I can”. Who needs to look good when you make records like this? ‘The Bearded Lady’ rounds off the record in it’s full six and half minutes of spooky storytelling glory, perfectly capping what is a brilliant debut album and a sign of future greatness to come from this eccentric and spectacular pair.

Standout Track: Intrepid Explorers of Amateurism…Begin

Rhian Daly