Scandinavian Indie - Non-Scandinavian CD Reviews [Q] [CD Reviews][Non-Scandinavian]

On these pages you can find CD singles and full-lengths, by Non-Scandinavian bands, reviewed by the Scandinavian Indie "crew". If you live in Scandinavia or in a Baltic country, and would like to add a review that you have written, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Blind Rage (UK)          - Numb CD 1996
Ice Jupiter Groove (AUS) - Ice Jupiter Groove CD 1995
Mark Slamzkis (US)       - Modifyd CD 1995

[Blind Rage Cover] Blind Rage - "Numb"

(CD, Atlas Music 1996, Time: 46.16) 1. Better Man (4.00) 2. Cruel World (3.34) 3. Alice (3.07) 4. Be Yourself (2.37) 5. Yellow Summer Sun (3.48) 6. Blind (3.27) 7. Numb (3.46) 8. Wake Up (4.48) 9. Sand (3.27) 10. Dark Side of Me (4.49) 11. Time (3.57) 12. Need You (4.54)
Scandinavian Indie Review: This is melodious singalong rock in the american school - say Bon Jovi, Richard Marx.. you know what I am talking about, stadium-rock. It is as easy as that. Sure, it is extremely tight, Jamie O'Kane has a fantastic voice, a voice that most people will say "Hey, I have heard this guy somewhere else! Isn't this... (insert your favourite melodious american rock band here)" when listening to Blind Rage. Jamie, when playing guitar, is very clever, very confident. His screaming guitar parts fits the rest of the music just like a glove. The production and the recording is extremely slick and professional.

"Yellow Summer Sun" is a beautiful, acoustic piece with fantastic guitars, lonely drums and Jamie's sad voice really makes me shiver. It is definitely my favourite song on the album. It is also definitely a radio hit, if played at nights, whereas the rest of the songs would be played during daytime on radio stations like Megapol or Radio FM.

This type of music definitely has its audience, though not the Indie one. It is straightforward rock performed by Jamie O'Kane, Garry King (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Robert Bullock (bass, backing vocals). All doing their job very well too, even though Jamie is the one inevitably in the foreground. And as everything points to yet another american rock band, it is pretty interesting to learn that they are actually from the UK.

(September 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Email Atlas Music

[Ice Jupiter Cover] Ice Jupiter Groove - "Ice Jupiter Groove"

(CD, Nu-Town 1995, Time: 27.16) 1. Tapestry Of Love (3.38) 2. Foundation (4.29) 3. Watching The Rain (5.08) 4. Big Blue (4.43) 5. Healing (4.53) 6. Someone Else's Dream (4.03)
Scandinavian Indie Review: Australian bands are pretty well-known in Sweden, ever since the glory days of, for example, Midnight Oil and INXS a few years ago. Though this new act, Ice Jupiter Groove, is probably not that known to the swedish audience. Described by Sean Lee (vocals & electric guitar) as "commercial synth/guitar/rock feel, with good hooks and melodies", I can not but agree. It is exactly what it is. Somewhat following in the steps of INXS, but I feel the most accurate comparison would be Simple Minds. That is to say that this is a high class rock act with everything that makes it tick.

A piano makes it all sound like a fresh clear and sunny day. Beautiful floating synthesizer sounds and electric guitar riffs backing up Sean's voice as he sings, and he sings really well. It made me wonder if he might have had a career in another band, previous to IJG? His voice is extremely confident, and I do not think it can sound more professional than this. To make it clear; In the school of Jim Kerr, Sean would be an A-grade student. And it is especially evident in "Big Blue" but even more so in "Healing", which is easily mistaken for a Simple Minds song. The music creating that atmosphere that was previously only regarded as theirs alone. That almost whispering voice, always advancing towards higher grounds, like it was made for arena concerts. And with his brother Brett Lee (keyboard, rhythm programs, vocals) backing him up, it can not fail.

The music still has got that "australian" feeling over it, you know? But I thought about that for a while, and figured that if I did not know their origins, I might have placed them in the UK/Ireland area of the world as well. I am a Simple Minds buff, and have been ever since I first heard "Don't You (Forget About Me)" when I was fourteen years old, and in that sense this is right up my alley. Easy, clear and professionally arranged songs that I can bet all my money on that you will hear it on the swedish radio. Soon. They are getting airplay in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Brazil, Germany, Belgium and some other European countries, so I am pretty confident about that.

(March 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Ice Jupiter Groove Homepage

[Modifyd] Mark Slamzkis - "Modifyd"

(CD, 4orward Slip 1995, Time: 41.46) 1. Cauldera (4.28) 2. Candlelight Over (5.20) 3. n Linear Dance #1 (5.18) 4. The Albatross Notion (8.32) 5. At The Sign Of Right (5.08) 6. HallWay (5.10) 7. Dom / The Sky Bows Down (7.04)
Scandinavian Indie Review: Imagine that you got stuck over night in a toy store without any chance of turning off those self-playing $20.00 keyboards. You know the ones Casio puts out for example. Or imagine a whole orchestra where the members are playing such keyboards for the first time in their life. Right, they are trying everything! Sometimes pressing all the keys at the same time, sometimes trying out different drum beats, pulling the bender right and left furiously. Or do you remember the PC games before the 16-bit soundcards came on the market and you had to put up with 8-bit?

Well, all of this actually describes the sound of Mark Slamzkis. The first time I listened to it, I thought that maybe, just maybe, someone was pulling my leg. No way can someone listen to this without going mad? It is definitely enough to drive me mad in a couple of minutes. But when I read the letter that came with the CD, I understand that this is no joke. This man has been well received and has generated airplay all over the world, they say. People are listening to this CD. Further in the letter, they say that the style is unique, and that he is using old and new electronic equipment, playing music that has few comparisons. That I definitely agree with. It is almost an understatement! But when they say that people who listen to Pink Floyd and Depeche Mode will have a place for this CD in their collection, I must protest. I have listened to both groups myself when I was younger, and I can assure everyone that this CD would not be in my collection.

The description "Heavily Thematic / Progressive / Avant Garde Music performed by a equally Heavily Synthesized Group." is a very good one and so my recommendation is that if you are a Jean Michel Jarre fan, and you are looking for something you have never heard before, something that will baffle you up to a point where you scream, but still with a touch of Jarre, this is the CD for you.

(May 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Forward Slip Productions Inc., P.O.Box 2403, Broken Arrow OK 74013, USA.

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Last updated Feb 24, 1998 by Erik Söderström
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