If any an album should carry a health warning this would be it: ‘Avant garde-rock – with a jazz influence. Cover your ears. Remove pets from the room before listening.’ This would be it.
Be wary of any band that calls itself a ‘project’. They probably have degrees in ‘shifting units’ of their ‘product’ and spout worthy thesis on the significance of their self-importance.
The UK based Sine Star Project it would be fair to say have a somewhat dramatic record collection. Veering on the side of the dramatic, the melodramatic, the cod-dramatics, these are the anti-Darkness (all the bombast, histrionics, none of the humour or the tunes), because they actually mean it.
Try not to snigger as they emote about the world being a bit crap/his ex-girlfriend leaving him (surprised?)/their pet ferret dying over their classical piano training like the worst (and most punchable) teachers pet (think Rock School gone arsey). In the monkey house of the Sine Star Project they ape Tori Amos, Buckleys, Muse, Mars Volta and Berloiz often in the space of the same ‘song cycle’. Christ.
Warbled in true diva style by the improbably named P.J. Croissant, whose falsetto swoops and plops all over proceedings dropping the melancholy ‘inspired by a friends suicide’. The album is like a slow distillation of the prog-rebirth of recent years. Why suffer unnecessary fripperies of songcraft as melody and tune when you can have multiple time-signature changes and churning, sea-sick soundscapes…maaaan? Cheers.
Blood Light seemingly falls into the song and comes over like past-indie wannabes Strangelove in its very English yearning. Single Strange Girl does exactly what it says on its rhomboid tin, bludgeoning riffs, dense and a spooked swoop about a…gosh…(or should that be goth?) strange girl. No shit Sherlock!
Weirdly it is the appearance of the seemingly ordinary pedal steel guitar on Down Down that lends an air of approachable warmth to the track. Elsewhere good intentions are buried under bombast, herky-jerky stop-start time switches, pompous vocals and overly earnest delivery. Given time, space to breathe and a few more original ideas beyond writing about dead pals and things could change.
Unfortunately though, the shadow of their influences looms larger than any real presence Sine Star Project may have. The all-too-slick air of professionalism only dulls any real passion or originality in their anal clinging to all things ‘different’. All the noodling in the world doesn’t forgive for the lack of a tune, and would try the patience of anyone.