Serena Maneesh - No.2: Abyss in B minor

2010-06-30 09:30
No.2: Abyss in B Minor
The opening track on Serena Maneesh's second album is an oddity that won't do much for further listening of the album. A pity, because it’s nowhere near as inviting as the rest.

Like any good 4AD record – and there are plenty of them dating as far back as the mid 1980s – the remainder of No 2: Abyss in B Minor is a sonic hotpot of wildly delicious and colourful noise. Beautiful, even, you may say, if your palate tends to swing the way of left-centre faves Lush or medium-range Swans or even Alison Goldfrapp meets Beck on PCP.

Wall-of-sound production, for lack of a better term, is favourable to a certain idea of auditory euphoria. Norwegian outfit Serena Maneesh are a classic shoegazing band, for sure, but that sonic rapture is especially evident when Elvira Nikolaisen breathes out her share of the songs.

Drenched in distortion, reverb and all manner of tweets and crunches in the corners, the blast is overpowering - it's all you can do to imagine drifting weakly through space as you listen to "Melody for Jaana" or "Blow Your Brains in the Mourning Rain".

That said, what makes the seminal recordings in this genre what they are, is a more compelling centre to the melodies. Contributions by Sufjan Stevens notwithstanding, Serena Maneesh could use a tweak or two when it comes to melodies. Somehow, you just won’t remember these songs as long as you should – with the exception of "I Just Want to See Your Face", which is disappointingly also the shortest track on the album.

There's really only one way to play this kind of music. Loud. Very, very loud. But your dog won't like you.

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