Svin – Heimat
Some things aren’t meant to work together, and this is especially true in music. One would expect certain things to go well together, and others to fail miserably. A collaboration between Korn and Skrillex would be expected to be complete gash – and this has actually happened. Nu-metal and dubstep are quite possibly the strangest of bedfellows, and I’m sure that a combination of jazz and noise rock would seem almost equally as baffling, at least to your average music consumer. For this reason alone, ‘Heimat’, the debut album by Swedish group Svin, will have a somewhat limited appeal.
It’s not the most accessible record I’ve heard all year, but perseverance does yield rewards. Sometimes it strays closer to post-rock than anything else, as on the three-part (no, seriously) ‘Iglo’. At other times the pace is more frantic, as on the math-rock-laden opener ‘Cougar’. It takes barely under two minutes to establish the album as one that is technically impressive, the off-kilter rhythms dragging the listener along by the scruff of the neck and straight into ‘Utøj’, which is the perfect contrast. After the assaulting guitars and drums of its predecessor, it’s sedate by comparison.
There’s no doubt about it, Svin know how to use contrast. None of these songs can be criticised for being too samey, but where the album does fall down is that they’re rather a bit over-fond of dissonance and discordance. For every measured moment, amongst which the stately ‘Sankt Hans’ stands out as being particularly affecting, there’s a misstep – and sometimes there’s a misstep so large that it encompasses an entire song. ‘Kaere Mona’ is meant to be a powerful closer, but it unfortunately comes across as something of a mess, a sludgy melody barely holding the song together until it disintegrates into free-jazz noise and aimless noodling. It long outstays its welcome, and is a disappointing end to what is a promising debut.
The pros and cons of ‘Heimat’ cancel each other out entirely, leaving Svin with a lot done, but a lot more to do.
Out now through Mom Eat Dad Records
Echo Rating (((●●●)))
Posted by Gareth O’Malley
Tags: Gareth O'Malley, Heimat, Svin