Once A Day

Nick West's reviews for Bucketfull Of Brains and Rock'N'Reel

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Location: London, United Kingdom

Co-editor and publisher of Bucketfull Of Brains since 1996.

Friday, December 05, 2008


FATAL SHORE

Real World

(AMBOSS RECORDINGS)
www.ambossrecordings.de

Fatal Shore is a trio of exiles based in Central Europe. Australians Bruno Adams and Chris Hughes were in Once Upon A Time whose majestic ‘Planetarium’ was recently covered by Mick Harvey. Yorkshireman Phil Shoenfelt has a long, diverse history that began with Khmer Rouge in early 80s New York. For their third album Real World they are joined by multi-instrumentalist and arranger Yoyo Rohm and a string section.

This Real World is certainly dark and intense. Its soundtrack combines something of the cabaret and something of the Australian gothic, taking in blues, soul, and balladry. A profound seriousness is reflected in Shoenfelt’s precise enunciated vocals, contrasting with those of Adams who tends to the slightest of country inflections.

Roiling, grunge-like frenzies such as ‘Rainy Sunday Morning’ and ‘Train Song’, sit next to beautiful serene pieces like the Cohenesque ‘Faithless’, the tender ‘Out Of The Sea’, and the reading of Brel’s ‘If You Go Away’. A Mariachi element (and a touch of Wise Blood) pervades ‘Blind Jesus’ while gypsy music accompanies both the tale of ‘Vivi The Flea’ and the opener ‘Black Venus’ which borrows its tune from the traditional gypsy song ‘Khamoro’.

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