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Holidays in Europe

1 rating: 5.0
An album by Kukl

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1 review about Holidays in Europe

bjork and avant-rock belong together.

  • Jan 26, 2006
I love this album, although it would be hard not to for any fan of avant-rock, especially Thinking Plague. This is probably my favorite album of its genre along with Thinking Plague's _In This Life_. Kukl is assumedly best-known as Bjork's first band, but it would probably frighten most of those attached to Bjork's poppy (albeit weird) sensibilities. _Holidays in Eden_ is a phantasmagoric, atonal rock masterpiece at the zenith of imagination and songcraft. This album scores one billion on the fackked-up scale, and it is definitely the best thing Bjork has EVER been involved in. It sounds much like Thinking Plague's early albums, especially the dirty, aggressive quality of _Moonsongs_, but with fewer prog-influences. The moments of dissonant rock genius are everywhere. The first track is full of plinking vibraphones, subtle, dissonant overtones on horns, and Bjork is singing in her own sort of way. Song two sounds like a Thinking Plague meets Faust, with a odd-metered, proggy riff mangled by tampering with the tape to make it fade in and out, and speed down so suddenly as to become as a aural haze, even if only for a second. Track four sounds like something from a crazy horror movie, with heavy marching rhythms and nontonal, seemingly improvised guitars chords in the background, which gradually come more to the fore bring all their juicy, crunchy dissonance with them. It has a really scared-sounding guy singing with organ accompaniment and Bjork yelling with atonal piano solo accompaniment, and samples of applause, creepy laughing, and chanting. Song five... staccato horns, sustained off-key singing, and more grumbling, growling rhythms. Song six has Bjork and some guy yelling frantically at each other over a clamorous soundscape of drums and synthesizers. It may or may not be English. Song seven has pointillist synths of what sounds like some sort of vibrating column of air. I don't even know what the song titles are. Yet for all its bombastic dispositions, there is something of a mystery to this album, and it is that which makes it so poignant. The musicality is amazing and Bjork sounds like she could explode at any moment. An adorable classic -- way better than your johnny five-star albums.

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Holidays in Europe
Label: One Little Indian Us
Artist: Kukl
Release Date: April 20, 2004

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