Vinyl LP £15.99 STS238LP
LP on Smalltown Supersound.
CD £10.49 STS238CD
CD on Smalltown Supersound.
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- Sleeper by Carmen Villain
As those who know me will attest, I’m not averse to hanging out with models. Breezing into nightclubs, I enter the VIP area, ask them to try on my glasses and post the results to facebook (I actually know someone who does something similar to this, I think it’s called a “mid-life crisis” - hopefully he’ll get thumped soon). Anyway Carmen Villain is that rare sort of model who has been on the cover of Vogue but apparently also worships at the altar of Sun City Girls.
This is her debut album and it’s surprisingly excellent (I mean not that models shouldn’t be good at music, look at Sam Fox for an example) but from what I can tell this ain’t no vanity project - she’s been working at these things for years with the feller from Serena Maneesh amongst other people. What we have is a dark brooding record full of twisting pop gems that owe much to Sonic Youth and Blonde Redhead but have some daring sonic tricks up their sleeves (do songs have sleeves? Quite possibly). Opener ‘Two Towns’ is relatively sweet but is underpinned by a dark churning riff that recalls PiL’s ‘Poptones’. ‘Easy’ is darker still with some strange chord changes, ‘Lifeissin’ kind of recalls Cat Power but adds synths and heavy atmospherics.
By the time we get to ‘Obedience’ we have dubstep stylee bass and screaming guitar atmospherics, ‘Made A Shell’ kinda recalls REM circa ‘Document’ with its mysteriously dark guitar figures and an air of menace. It’s all rather good, although produced to within an inch of its life - despite the angular guitars it may all be just a bit too smoothly edged off to appeal to the fans of the Royal Truxes and Sonic Youths to which Villain obviously aspires. Comes with bonus mix CD.
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