I’ll bet Fjord Rowboat has a pretty good live show. Combine the echoes of swirling, heavily reverbed guitars with a pounding drum beat and a stellar light show, and you have a recipe for a rockin’ good time. According to Canadian Music Week (which is still plugging Alanis Morissette), this band from the Great White North has been making a name for themselves with strong live performances. Their album, Saved the Compliments for Morning, even sounds like a live recording, with all the benefits and pitfalls.
“Carried Away,” the first song on the album, conveys the band’s energetic, shoegaze rock. It also shows the main fault of the album, which is a muddled sound. I don’t know how Saved the Compliments for Morning was recorded, but it sounds as if the five-piece was put in a room to play their instruments all at once. There is so much going on that it is hard to distinguish one sound from another, which in turn, buries Graig Gloster‘s vocals.
Fjord draws from such influences as My Bloody Valentine, which is fully realized on the song “Paragon.” The ethereal voice, located somewhere within the two different guitars, sounds as if it was pulled directly from the Loveless album.
“Through the Morining Light” is a song that works well on the album with a more down tempo vibe compared to most of the other tracks and manages to not sound cluttered. The guys layer the spacey, psychedelic sounds in a manner that is chill, while still provoking toe tapping and head nodding.
Like good cooks, good musicians can overcomplicate things until individual flavors are lost. Sometimes it is best to pare down ingredients to the basics in order to allow the good elements to shine. Perhaps it is the fault of whoever mixed the album and their failure to separate the sounds. Whatever the reason, Fjord Rowboat is a good band that hasn’t quite managed to translate the potential power of their live show into a recorded medium.