Steffan Rundquist – Aggressive Pacifist – EP Review

The Swedish born Netherlands residing musician Steffan Rundquist has a new five track EP – Aggressive Pacifist – set for release on the 1st September.

Steffan Rundquist - Aggressive Pacifist - artwork

Steffan Rundquist – Aggressive Pacifist – artwork

 

Opening with Bye Bye Babylon Good Bye is one of the first songs I came across by Steffan and it remains as much of a joy to hear once again, with its visceral lyric rebounding on Western Christian Society values.

Next is Libertad Freedom which had me reaching for the texts on José Doroteo Arango Arámbula with the very clear South American references and call to arms for political prisoners around the world. My pick of the Aggressive Pacifist.


Half-way through the just under nineteen minutes release is Empathy. A piece that finds Steffan in a hauntingly driven number, which is, an introspective work of his own relationships with a supportive group of friends over the years.

Opening the second half of Aggressive Pacifist is Chirimoya which is another personal number of spiritual discovery and makes for a lighter tune than has come before, with an upbeat sound.

Concluding the EP is Timebomb that consternates on current frictions and mores, which is a fine exposition of his thinking.

Steffan Rundquist never attempts to complicate the issues he sees at hand, in his compositions which are bereft of twirl, the music appearing as a timbre backdrop to the poetry and Aggressive Pacifist is a fine example of his work.

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Lock Up Laura

Kareem Mafouz (Drums), Sam Buckthop (Guitar / Vocals), Liam Giles (Bass), Aaron Hall (Guitar) and Lee McCusker (Lead Vocals) from Lincoln in England combine to form the rock band Lock Up Laura.

Lock Up Laura - rock from England

Lock Up Laura

Where I am sure there was a temptation to play hell-for-leather, Lock Up Laura have held tight reigns to the out-put to the benefit of the audience as the music is given time and space to blossom to its full potential, with measured pieces of  finely structured rock. Whilst the quintet have focused on content rather than volume and pace, that doesn’t mean anything has been lost in the translation, the reverse in fact, as through the more measured delivery the listener is able to appreciate the craftsmanship in the creativity.

Each section of the Lock Up Laura forms an integral part of the whole with nothing seeming superfluous. Formed at the end of 2011, the band have developed a strong following and with their second LP – Masquerade set for recording later this year, one would expect their audience to grow exponentially and it will be interesting to see if they are able to capitalise on the opportunity.

website (music starts immediately)

Running in the Dark – Lock Up Laura is available on iTunes*.

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Grenouer – Last Stop – Video

The Russian band Grenouer are currently recording a new LP.

Grenouer - Last Stop

Grenouer

When first reviewed Grenouer was a five piece, Igor has subsequently left, so it will be interesting to hear what the as yet un-named elevenish track LP will sound like.

Whilst waiting for news, here is a video for the penultimate track of the twelve on Blood On The Face.

Blood On the Face – Grenouer is available on iTunes*.

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Avindale

Avindale from El Paso in the USA is the alt-indie quintet of Oscar A. (Vocals / Keys / Guitar), Gary E. (Bass), Chris G. (Guitar), Beto (Drums) and Oscar D. (backup vocals / Percussion).

Avindale - photo by Joe Nunez

Avindale

Intrinsic to the sounds are strong flowing melodies, which give the out-put a full presence. Balancing between the heavily orchestrated and more basal rock derivation,  Avindale give the resulting compositions a smart pair of loafers, without it ever treading into lounge music.  An impressive vocal is able to inject a sympathetic grounding to the final deliverable and whilst the ears will find much to follow in the instrumentation, it is the voice that truly captivates.

With many years experience behind them it is unsurprising that Avindale have been able to smooth out the ridges, but they have successfully been able to retain the connection between the song-writing process and final delivery which gives the music a credibility as well as an easy temper.

This is music to take out on a balmy summers evening whilst relaxing with a few friends.

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Azure – Single – Avindale is available on iTunes*.

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