Release date: 2007
By: Elvira Visser
Although they are compared with Frans Ferdinand and Gruppo Sportivo to name
a few, they are original. This first full album from this band from the Dutch
city Rotterdam has 8 songs, but take you on a journey passing different styles
of music. Danceable tunes, a little bit of punk, 80’s guitar riffs and some
ska-like saxophone. This makes them stand out compared with similar bands.
When you have seen them live it is quite a bunch on stage, bit hectic and their
front man Peter de Koning is something special. He reminded me a little of Mick
Jagger, the way he walks around and acts. But dressed maybe like these nerd-ish
characters but maybe that is also one of the comparisons with Frans Ferdinand.
But let me tell you about their new CD as following up after their EP “Uniform”.
I would say this is one of those albums you should listen loud when getting
ready to go to a party or when you need to get in some dancing mood. The tunes
are very danceable and the trumpets and saxophone start to make you move around.
The first track that really stands out is “Fire”, one of those irritating
songs that stick in your mind no matter what. The trumpets and the bass guitar
add that ska flavour to this song. Fire!
The fourth song of the album “Kawasaki Helvete!” does not only have
the same name as the cd, but to me also represents what the band is all about.
Somehow I missed something in the first three songs, but it might be made as
an intro for the listener to get adjusted to the Saunawest sound.
Just when you are about to enter the dance floor in your own room, the slower
song “Wireless Network Detected” starts. To me not the right place
on this album, or is this calculated to breathe some air after the dance tunes?
Or maybe I need to say that I was not connected with this song.
Although the next song is called “Call From the Canyon” and makes
you think of red mountains, there is some Indian-like intro made by the trumpets.
“Plus Belle Avec Une Coubelle” is a little weird, but when you are
almost at the end of this CD, you come to understand that the band doesn’t just
have nice dancing tunes but likes to add something to the songs. The joke, for
me with the Coubelle song is a real “cowbell” on stage. (this of course
you do not see when listening to the CD). The French singing vocalist gives
this song a relaxed vibe until you come to the end of the song which brings
you literally a climax. His climax.
Although I think the band is capable of more, the disco tune-songs stand out
on this album.
The album is nice, but if they would have added one or maybe even two more songs
with great dance tunes in their own approach I think this album would have been
great. It is still not bad, and good to listen to when you need to get ready
but I have the feeling they can do better.
| 1. Deadline
2. Dirty Nation
4. Kawasaki Helvete!
5. Wireless Network Detected
6. Call from the Canyon
7. Plus Belle avec une Coubelle
8. The Ballad of King Zog I