Music Reviews

Violet Indiana

Roulette

Instinct

That Robin Guthrie, always armed to the teeth with an amazing vocalist. In The Cocteau Twins, he strummed alongside the none-more-angelic Liz Fraser; in his latest Violet Indiana project, a lady by the name of Siobhan de Mare, a dynamic and bewitching voice that falls somewhere between the ice-cold sultriness of Beth (Portishead) Gibbons and the childlike sweetness of Tanya (Belly) Donnelly. And it’s a cool, smooth ride, the duo’s Roulette laced with ethereal wisps of Guthrie’s trademark shoegazer guitar and de Mare’s vocals floating above, beyond, and sometimes horizontally his six-string conjurings. (Debate has persisted as to who spearheaded the whole “shoegazer” ethic: Guthrie or The Cure’s Robert Smith. However, both men more or less wandered upon their signature, albeit similar styles on their respective 1982 albums, The Twins’ Garlands and The Cure’s Pornography. Then again, Siouxsie and the Banshees’ John McGeoch had a hand in this birthing with The Banshees’ ‘80-‘82 trilogy. Not to digress or anything•.) All told, much of the album sounds a good deal like one of Guthrie’s progeny, Slowdive • not that that’s a bad thing, mind you • perhaps a bit more self-consciously modern and certifiably hip, but this isn’t one of those “which came first • the chicken or the egg?” debates • you do the math. In any case, a stone-cold keeper here.

Instinct Records, 26 W. 17th St. #502, New York, NY 10011; http://www.instinctrecords.com, http://www.bellaunion.com


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