Thursday, 3 March 2011

Playground Noise - Playground Noise [2010]

Waking up today I reached for my ipod as usually, about to find something that will eventually help me get out of bed and – quite accidentally played Playground Noise’s debut longplay (self-titled). Not only did I wake up, but also found out I suddenly became an energy-bomb! As usual this album made me feel so good and so impressed with the band composing skills.

Playground Noise are a young greek band playing – simply calling – rock. It’s rather hard to define “which type” of rock that is, since they mix various styles. Mainly alternative, post rock and 80s new wave and post punk tricks. The most characteristic features are low guitars, strings, post-rock-like drums and (I guess) synthesizers. That already sounds great but after adding a vocalist that can passionately sing using different techniques of clean vocals, murmur, scare speaking lowly or praise with sweet voice – this record becomes an eargasmic journey in time!

The album opens with a sad but energetic April 24. It shows certain inspiration in The Cure (mainly keys+guitar) but with unique low male vocals (the phrase You, you make me real is surely one of the most easily remembered verses to me). Last cigarette is a much lighter, optimistic sound – strongly opposing to the following The Divers. This one is definitely my favourite – slowly increasing, with rich instrumental base (strings dominating the guitars) and again – highly emotional, expressive vocals. We can easily point 2 parts of this multilayered song, with a spoken bridge (it’s time...) in between. In the light of the title we should probably read this song as a struggle in diving to discover flooded wonders of ancient Hellada (perhaps even Atlantis!) – although to me it feels more like written while climbing on Olimp...

Today lyrically is a love song, praising life. Yes it is. But musically it shows less optimism and – again – more fight. You can literally feel the determination of the band, the depth of the belief in their own declaration. The Distance also goes this way – simple, characteristic riff and the vocals in the foreground. You can find a music video to this one on youtube.
Yet there is another surprise to come – Night-Blooming Cereus appears to be a dialogue between strings and piano – lovely but with a dark passenger tracing the blood. Honestly, I think they don’t like optimism – can it be a result of living in the fatherland of Helios god of sun? My theory would say – you may be happy with all the sun around, but it can also really tire you.

Hearts' Circus is a melancholic track that could easily belong to The Cure if it weren’t vocals. Covered with sun... heroes and brides! May I officially announce – yes, they can! They can make a song that is fulfilled with the joy of life! Beautiful, tomorrow I'll take my jacket and go have a nap in a snow smiling to the sharp, cold, polish sun!
Whisper In My Head another good, sad tune. Isolation is on the other hand an ethereal post-rock oriented composure growing slowly and leaving us in a delightful peace.

It’s hard to talk about this album. I gave it a plenty of listens past 3 months and I feel it really grew on me yet it still seems to hide more great surprises for later discover. Generally – really, really pleasant 52 minutes! I hope they’ll get some more attention and record many more interesting albums!

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