Album Review: The Alexandria Quartet

By on Tuesday, 17th March 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Alexandria Quartet (side)One of my favourite promo CDs I’ve received this year has come from Anglo-Norwegian four piece Alexandria Quartet, fresh off the road from supporting Travis. They manage to successfully combine the best parts of Starsailor, Supergrass, early Radiohead and, at times, Rufus Wainwright to create a rollercoaster of emotions on their debut album.

From the blatant singles of opening “Dark Side of the Blues” and “Into the Light” to the morose “Ace upon the Sleeve”, they manage to cover a lot of musical bases without losing their focus, and each song manages to have elements that you can easily imagine a friend raving about to you.

Lead singer Martin Skålnes’ voice is both strong enough to carry off the pop punch of “The Dark Side of the Blues”, and the fragility of “Ace Upon the Sleeve”, with its haunting repetition of “Don’t you ever feel like losing yourself?” where his voice sounds like it’s just about to crack with emotion.

“Montauk” is a great homage to the Long Island, NY town that was famously depicted in one of my favourite films, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It’s the bands way of saying “We’re meant to be” – instead of the soppy “I love you’s” they do something a bit different, referencing the scenes of Jim Carey and Kate Winslet together on a dreary beach and the beginning of a great love story.

Their strongest songs by far are their rockier numbers… not content with punchy choruses, they tell stories that are perfectly suited for the dark toilet venues of the UK with tonnes of smoke and a good ol’ fashioned rock out. Justine lets Øystein Braut and Chris Holm stretch their legs on guitars and bass respectively. It’s not hard to see why they were picked to support Travis on their recent European tour, having many elements reminiscent of the Brit Pop legends when they were rocky and good back in the day, and also at times of Supergrass before they mellowed out.

Either way, there’s probably something here for everyone, with full-blown rock-outs and a good ol’ story or 12. Expect tonnes more coverage here on TGTF about them – they’re genuinely a great band going from what we’ve heard, and you’ll be sure to see a lot about them on There Goes The Fear in coming months.

Alexandria Quartet’s single, “Dark Side of the Blues” is out on 11th May, with their self-titled debut following on 25th May. Download and enjoy a special Alexandria Quartet track below, and watch the video for “Into The Light” below that.

MP3: The Alexandria Quartet – Rock & Roll

[flv:http://theregoesthefear.com/media/200903/ittl.flv 320 240]

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