Friday 7 December 2012

Review: Janne Westerlund – Oran (& UK dates)

Janne Westerlund – Oran (9pm Records)
Having spent the past decade or so indulging avant-noise, Krautrock and stoner rock passions in the experimental Finnish bands, Circle, Pharaoh Overlord and Plain Ride, “Oran” is Janne Westerlund’s debut as a solo artist.

Playing all instruments (guitar, banjo, keyboards and percussion), bar congas and djembe on a couple of tracks, the output here - an album of brooding, hypnotically simple, yet slightly left of centre, anaesthetized folk - is far removed from his noisy background.

There’s more than a touch of down at heel hard living portrayed in Westerlund’s gruff voice and lines like “I was low with nothing to do, I got high on cough medicine” and track titles like “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum” (a traditional hobo song) fail to persuade otherwise. 

Opener “A Prayer for Judee Sill”, whose troubled, overdubbed vocals pay tribute to the ‘70s singer writing icon, includes tone generations which hang a little acid off its folk infused bones. “Evelyn Rose” in true “Matty Groves” fashion follows in an almost doom-laden tradition, “Kingdom of Control” is a dark, stark, banjo-led country ballad and the highlight, “Famous Birthmark” is like a tribal gathering featuring Tom Waits, Tim Buckley and a more acoustically driven Spacemen 3.

Janne Westerlund UK Dates
8/12/12 Brighton, Northern Lights
7/12/12 Stourbridge, Katie Fitzgerald’s
6/12/12 Glasgow, Mono Cafe Bar
5/12/12 Bath, The Bell Inn
4/12/12 London, The 12 Bar Club
(w/Mäkkelä’s Trash Lounge)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.