The Slow Signal Fade's CD Steady, which was produced
by super producer Steve Albini, is one noisy electric guitar
album. But Sri Lankan-born vocalist Marguerite Olivelle provides
this disc's most striking aural element. She sings everything on it
in a voice that falls somewhere between the preciousness of Cocteau
Twins' Elizabeth Fraser, and Sinead O'Connor/Shirley
Manson (Garbage) power.
Although it was in Albini's skilled production hands this disc just
doesn't get the balance right between Olivelle's trembling vocalizing,
and the group's aggressive guitar assault. Even with repeated listening,
it is still difficult to figure out what Olivelle is saying through
her songs. It is like straining to understand what a soft spoken friend
is telling you, over the music at a party or the loud playing during
a rock concert.
Guitar may be the main instrumental voice for this recording, but
haunting piano surprisingly kicks off the opener "Departmental."
Whatever it is Olivelle is trying to tell us all, she sure appears
to be a severely desperate femme fatale. One track called "TBA"
has a strongly Robert Smith (The Cure) guitar foundation,
and "At Least We're Dancing" is much closer to the dance
of death, than it is to "Dancing With The Stars." This music
is like Goth, albeit without the black clothes and graveyard imagery.
If The Slow Signal Fade had faded the guitar amps down just a few
more notches throughout, it would have raised this CD's letter grade
4.At Least We're Dancing
7.Mary Lou Saw Birds
8.The Same Song
9.That's A Long Way Down
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