Scandinavian Indie - Non-Scandinavian Demo / Tape Reviews [Q] [Demo/Tape Reviews][Non-Scandinavian]

On these pages you can find Demos / Tapes by Non-Scandinavian bands, reviewed by the Scandinavian Indie "crew". If you live in Scandinavia or a Baltic country, and want to add reviews that you have written, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Comespace                      - Having Never Flown a Spaceship Before (1996)
Dead Birds Wanna Fly           - Broken Wings (1996)
Mass Exhibit                   - Mass Exhibit (1996)
The Now Defunct Dead Squirrels - My First Demo (1996)

[Comespace - Having Never]

Comespace - "Having Never Flown a Spaceship Before", 1996, Time: 09.30

1. Float (6.17) 2. A Most Enjoyable Day (3.09)
Scandinavian Indie Review: Comespace comes from Brazil and believes in the short and simple way when making demo tapes. That usually leaves a reviewer hanging somewhere between deciding how to describe their actual sound as a band or just go for each song separately, if the songs sound totally different. I have chosen to go for each song separately.

'Float' is a noisy, slow and experimental piece. Experimental because of the "rain drop" effects/filters they have used here and there, something I have never heard before. Noisy because after a pretty silent start, it turns into a complete concrete wall of sounds. The electric guitars, the drums, the bass. It sounds like everything but the bass is plugged into every possible effect box they could find. Slow because the both the music and the vocals are dronish, dreamy and somewhat monotone. We are talking music based around repetition, minima and droning, and at the same time, they have left most of the standard verse/chorus parts behind in order to reach the main goal; to create a common whole with their music. A cacophonous wall of sound without a fixed beginning or end, where no distinct and prominent features are supposed to sound separated from each other.

'A Most Enjoyable Day', on the other hand, is fantastic! Amazing! Beautiful! Yes, it is completely and totally brilliant! So perfect. So professional that I am stunned. Mouth open, eyes closed, on my back on the floor (sounds like a great piece of lyrics, doesn't it?) I can't help but laugh. It generates that euphoric feeling inside me! Like the first time I heard Slowdive (my favourite band in the whole world, ever). I am not saying that they sound like Slowdive, only that this song recreates that very feeling I had when I first heard them. What I do think of, when I hear this, and when it comes to the vocals, is early early Ride. Dreamy, clear and beautiful male vocals that are "out there somewhere" on top of the distorted electric guitar-wall that moves throughout the whole song from the start to the end like a red thread. It is guitar-walls like these that can make me cry out of sheer and utter pleasure, and I am not ashamed to admit it. It is just so surprising to find such a professional sounding song here, right after the somewhat experimental 'Float'! The music and the vocals here.. it all just sounds so great together!

If these guys had access to a professional recording studio, the shoegazer, drone and dreampop throne would be found in Brazil! That is to say; someone better put their songs, or at least 'A Most Enjoyable Day' on CD and send me a copy immediately!

(October 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Papa Muerta, Rua Itajai, 58 - Jd. Platina, 06273-130 - Osasco/Sao Paulo, BRAZIL. Email: Alcides H. Junior

[Dead Birds - Broken Wings]

Dead Birds Wanna Fly - "Broken Wings", 1996, Time: 44.17

1. Nabo Is Dead (2.13) 2. The Most Happy Man on The Earth (2.38) 3. Sunday (1.28) 4. Curfew (4.05) 5. Shadows Crying (2.10) 6. Inteligent Life on Mars (2.10) 7. Mrs. D. (4.01) 8. I Am So Tired (6.07) 9. Flowers Kiss Candy (3.40) 10. Overshot (2.24) 11. A Funny Day (2.45) 12. Some Drops of Sugar In My Heart (3.49) 13. I Can't Stop To Smile (2.23) 14. That's Enough (3.09)
Scandinavian Indie Review: This is not a regular demo tape in any way. First, it comes from Brazil and second it consists of songs from the "Broken Wings" demo plus a couple of new extra songs as well, which makes it just as long as a normal full length album! Though in this review, the whole tape is considered as one single demo, because it is a demo. With that out of the way, let's go for the music!

The first thing that comes to your mind when thinking about music from Brazil is not exactly floating, dreamy and compact guitar-walls together with echo-filled, eerie vocals is it? Well, it is time to think again, because that is exactly what we have here.

The base is made out of beautiful, powerful, roaring, heavily distorted, thundering drone electric guitars that makes me want to bite my teeth and scream. A castle would not have enough walls to satisfy these guitars.

Sometimes we hear them together with lonely, alarming guitars with the one goal to join the roaring ones, warning them about the forthcoming day of doom and destruction. 'Shadows Crying' and 'I Am So Tired' are perfect examples. The last one of them being my personal favourite song on the tape, even tough the vocals there are not very pleasant, the music, the alarming electric guitar, the distorted wall-of-doom guitars... it is just immeasurably gorgeous.

Sometimes we hear them together with swirly, jangly, and a lot happier guitars watching the sunrise on a beautiful summer morning. Examples of this can be found in 'Nabo Is Dead', 'Curfew', which is fantastic, both music and vocals, and I just have to mention the end of 'Mrs. D.', which is utterly and totally mind bogglingly a wonder in itself! Distorted electric guitar walls behind a single and lonely, echoing and whining electric guitar.

Over these walls of sound climbs single, desolate, monotone and sad male vocals, revealing the story that lies behind each and every tone, expressing deepest regrets, and happy moments. Heavy echo effects makes them float on top of the heavily distorted electric guitars. As if they were outside the room. Untouchable and unreachable.

The other songs, 'Some Drops of Sugar In My Heart' and 'I Can't Stop To Smile' for example, are still filled with dreamy, monotone and dronish vocals, but instead of electric guitar-walls, there are gorgeous acoustic guitars, sending shivers down my back. They are simply that fantastic. They kind of remind me of Antonio Banderas in Desperado, you know, at the beginning of the movie. Especially 'Some Drops..' which is full of pick guitars, and it sounds fantastic!

Two songs on the tape made me snap out of my dream world, because I am almost positive that I have heard them before. 'Shadows Crying' which sounds like a Front Line Assembly, Ministry or Front 242 song (I can't say which one for certain, because I don't have any of their records), and 'That's Enough' which sounds like U2. Though I am only talking about the music, and not the vocals.

If you are into drone indie pop, shoegazer style, like My Bloody Valentine, Flying Saucer Attack or even the music Lush made early in their career (swirly, jangly guitars), you are bound to love this!

(October 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Papa Muerta, Rua Itajai, 58 - Jd. Platina, 06273-130 - Osasco/Sao Paulo, BRAZIL. Email: Alcides H. Junior

[Demo Tape]

Mass Exhibit - "Mass Exhibit", 1996, Time: 18.47

1. Creepy J (3.52) 2. Spoken (3.14) 3. Can It Blind? (3.57) 4. Wrong Again (3.41) 5. Warped Sex (4.03)
Scandinavian Indie Review: Metal/Hardcore is probably the most hard music style to review. At least when there are such a vast number of bands playing this kind of music, all over the world, it gets pretty tricky trying to compare one band to another. And that is exactly why I will not do that. "Creepy J" is pretty clean metal/hardcore. That is, no walls of thundering guitars to drown in, but instead, economical drums and vocals. The guitar rattles, just like it should, but in a much slower and easy pace. In "Spoken", the rattling guitars takes another form in the way of an echo-effect that makes me just want to press that pedal to the metal and roar down the road. It creates a amazingly addictive soundscape. "Can It Blind?" is the best song on the demo. Hard hitting, thundering guitars with unexpected twists here and there that gives it all just that little extra. The vocals build on the music and makes it all sound very professional. I love the whining guitars between the east coast bullet rain sections in "Wrong Again", but the guitar solo in the middle is hideous! "Warped Sex" is the strongest song, and will probably get this band signed. It starts pretty interesting with a modem call... to a 28.8kbps modem... Anyway, the song has got all the ingredients (except a Biohazard singalong) that makes a heavy hardcore track. The bass has finally been given a place where it can be heard. The breaks between the thundering parts and the bass line sections are fantastic! And the vocals are strong and confident. Overall, I must say that in some places, the demo is a bit thin. I like to hear songs with guitar-walls that knocks me down, even if it is somewhat refreshing to hear economical metal/hardcore once in a while.

(April 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: Avalon Entertainment Management, 55 Crystal Ave - Suite 298, Derry, New Hampshire 03038, USA

The Now Defunct Dead Squirrels - "My First Demo", 1996, Time: 14.50

[Dead Squirrels - My First] 1. Country Love Song 2. Friday Night Alone 3. Drive To Memphis 4. Missing You (The Spleen Song) 5. As Of Yet Untitled Theme Song
Scandinavian Indie Review: This american band is based in Virginia and according to themselves, play southern rock and countryesque pop. Something I definitely agree with. They are using an organ (in several ways.. heh), a fiddle, electric and acoustic guitars and of course, drums. A very professional demo, I must add, because it doesn't sound like a demo at all.

Country Love Song is almost exactly what the title says. A slow, country beat with a fiddle, an organ and an acoustic guitar make out the country part. Almost exactly, you now ask? Well, it is because the lyrics do not really make out a love song in the normal sense. They are more in the ironic "I'm glad that it is over" area.

Friday Night Alone starts out with a carnival feeling through the organ, single guitar and a basic drum beat. When the fiddle joins in, it all moves towards country again. I have to mention the vocals here though, because it sounds somewhat like a mix between J. Mascis and Tom Petty - that is to say that it sounds great!

If you're looking for the track with the most rock sound, then you better tune in Drive To Memphis. I'd say that this is basic rock, actually with a feeling of Tom Petty, not only because of the similar vocals and backing vocals.

Missing You (The Spleen Song) actually has a true story behind it involving an accident and a removal of a spleen! It is actually a love song, for the lost spleen.. Fiddle, organ, electric guitar and a basic drum beat, somewhat like before, but it sounds a hell of a lot better than the the rest. The lyrics sounds so honest, even though it, of course, is ironic, and the music really sounds worked through. The fiddle fits perfectly together with the organ, and during the chorus, I'm singing along. This is the best song on the demo, and of course, my favorite. And it is definitely a radio hit too. "I broke my spleen and they took it away, I never knew it anyway. Now it's gone, what can I say. Guess this wasn't christmas day."

As Of Yet Untitled Theme Song is just a chorus, though it wraps this demo up pretty good, because, according to the band, they only recorded the chorus in order to save time (and money).

(June 1996 Review by: Erik Söderström)
Contact: The Society For The Preservation Of Squirrels, P.O. Box 4132, Fredericksburg, VA 22402, USA.
Email: Mark

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Last updated Feb 24, 1998 by Erik Söderström
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