Let’s get this clear from the start: I hate fucking so-called “reality” TV “music” shows. Never watch them. By and large, they’re ego-stroking vanity trips for equally vainglorious multi-billionaires merely seeking to embarrass weird and random selections of wannabe has-beens into making complete dicks of themselves and earning undeserved adulation in the process for their particular brand of manufactured auto-tuned shite. But, having got that little rant off my chest, there are parts of the world where such normally cringe-worthy, ratings-grabbing shows do exactly hat they set out to do… which has proven the case with the Wigelius brothers, Anders and Erik, who earned a record deal with the mighty Frontiers Records as a result of appearing on such a malignant media outlet…
The siblings’ first album, ‘Reinventions’, was a solid enough offering, but very much a result of the process which spawned it. ‘Tabula Rasa’, however, sees them living up to the album’s title (it’s Latin for ‘blank slate’) and delivering an album is very much in the Scandinavian melodic rock tradition, with the emphasis on huge, hummable hooks and sweeping melodies. The inclusion of two slower songs – opener ‘Do It All Again’ and teh subsequent ‘These Tears I Cry’- in the opening section perhaps initially seems like a mistake, as it appears to disrupt any early momentum they may have been seeking to build, but the reasoning almost as immediately becomes obvious, as this is an album of well-defined contrasts.
Such contrasts identify themselves even within the individual songs, with the likes of the mid-album duotych of ‘Set Me Free’ and ‘Yesterday’s News’ intermingling acoustic interjections and funky bass runs respectively while the tunes weave and punch their around such moments with the accuracy of a supremely confident boxing champion. The overall result is a well-crafted, confident and strident album which impresses on most levels, and one which showcases an artistic capability which should bring its carriers to the forefront of the the scene in which they work relatively quickly.
Do It All Again / Déjà vu / These Tears I Cry / Long Way From Home / Set Me Free / Yesterday’s News / Time Well Wasted / 9 Out Of 10 / Run With Me / Love Is The Key / Please Please Please / Ma Cherie
Recommended listening: Please Please Please
‘Tabula Rasa’ is out now.