Store Hoved

Written by: HES on 30/04/2014 14:28:23

I always feel ambivalent about reviewing Danish bands, especially whenever they choose Danish as their lyrical language. I am painfully aware that the Danish language often is so much closer to home to me as a Danish native and that it can either go right in or hit a defense mechanism on its way. Stærosaurus is a Danish singer/songwriter and his newly released full-length debut "Store Hoved" has hit the underground scene quite well. With recent Danish-language successes like "Ulige Numre" and "Nephew" in more of classic "rock band"-constellations, the scene hasn't really seen the more quiet indie-segment tried out in Danish - yet. Stærosaurus is definitely trying to change this – composition wise it's a smash hit, while other parts are more lagging.

The musical universe of Stærosaurus is a layered, Death Cab For Cutie-ish lo-fi landscape with soft drums and light guitar riffs. Especially "En Mand At Tro På" has this lo-fi treble sound to its almost sampled-sounding drums - supported by a simple chord-based piano strategically placed to give the song momentum. "På Stranden"s almost electronic, naive opening frequency gives the record a touch of childish positivism reminiscent of Owl City's play on electronic hooks. The guitar work on "Smeltet Sammen" is absolutely breath-taking. Unfortunately, and this is what I primarily hold against Stærosaurus - the vocal performance is simply not "special" enough to carry the album above average - most of the time sounding a bit lazy and disengaged. I understand how this can also be a statement in itself, but this scribe at least doesn't find it appealing. A singer-songwriter's business card is his voice and if it’s forgettable, he is not doing a very good job.

Besides that, however awesome the musical arrangements in the back are, the lackluster voice and constant monotonous melancholy of the lyrics - both melodically and stylistically - drag the album down. Although the songwriting is quite alright on songs like "Loopet" and "Blæst Gennem Juni", the build-ups become monotonous. I am not speaking lyrically, but technically; there are not any interesting twists or progressions and we stay mainly in a kind of "chanting" area that honestly hardly qualifies as songwriting. Lyrically the Stærosaurus never really escapes the melancholy by any detours and it makes the narratives pretty predictable. I wish Stærosaurus had spent a bit more time on these songs and made each of them something a tad more special instead of the constellation of "chanting verse + repetitive chorus". Instead Stærosaurus disappear a bit into the gloom.


Download:Loopet, En Mand At Tro På, Smeltet Sammen
For The Fans Of: Peter Sommer, Love Shop, Jonathan Johansson

Release date 21.04.2014

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